WTA Opposes Mandatory Nationwide Detariffing of Telephone Access Charges

Today, WTA filed comments with the FCC expressing opposition to its proposal to detariff telephone access charges (TACs) such as the Subscriber Line Charge (SLC) and Access Recovery Charge (ARC), arguing that there are no significant current problems or complaints to be resolved, nor any material benefits to be gained, by detariffing TACs nationwide on a mandatory basis.

Instead of mandatory, nationwide detariffing, WTA recommends that FCC adopt a more flexible permissive detariffing. WTA argues that the SLC and ARC have long been capped and stable and are both familiar and acceptable to the vast majority of customers and that mandatory TAC detariffing and consolidation of SLC and ARC charges into basic local service rates will be subject to intrastate regulations and restrictions in at least one-third of the states. In addition, the creation of uncertainty regarding the future availability of up to $290 million in long-stable SLC and ARC revenues is extremely counter-productive and de-stabilizing during a period when rural carriers need every available dollar to extend and upgrade their broadband networks and to cope with the disruptions of the COVID pandemic.