Friday, September 28, 2007
The FCC has released its annual "Reference Book of Rates, Price Indices, and Household Expenditures for Telephone Service." Here's an excerpt from the press release, giving some interesting statistics about the cost of long distance calling, and charges paid by consumers. Read the entire press release here.
· The average revenue per minute of wireline long distance calling, which reflects rates paid by residential and business consumers, remained at 6 cents in 2005 for the third consecutive year, and represents a decrease of 60% from 1992, when discount and promotional long distance plans were introduced.
· During 2006, the consumer price index (CPI) for wireline interstate toll service rose 5.1% and the CPI for intrastate toll service increased 3.3%, while the overall CPI rose 2.5%.
· Long-term, the CPI for wireline interstate toll service in December 2006 was 33% lower than in December 1997, and for intrastate toll service, 24% lower, while the overall CPI rose by 25% during the same period.
· The December 2006 CPI for wireless service remained unchanged from December 2005. Long-term, the CPI for wireless services was 35% lower in December 2006 than it was in December 1997.
· The Lifeline universal service program subsidizes the monthly phone charges for low-income households, while the Link Up program subsidizes charges for the connection of a phone line. Based on a sample of cities, Lifeline conferred an average monthly benefit of $14.65, and Link Up conferred an average benefit of $29.94.
· The average rate paid by business customers for a single phone line was $45.31 in 2006, compared to $43.75 in 2005, an increase of 3.5%. The average connection charge for single-line business customers fell from $74.18 in 2005 to $72.26 in 2006, a decrease of 2.5%.
· The average rate paid by residential customers for unlimited touch-tone calling was $25.27 in 2006, compared to $24.64 in 2005, an increase of 2.6%. The average connection charge for residential customers increased to $42.92 in 2006 from $42.80 in 2005.