Wednesday, May 12, 1999

HawTel customers
paying more
for extra lines

By Rob Perez


Residential phone customers with more than one line will have to pay slightly more for those extra lines as a result of changes in federal regulations.

GTE Hawaiian Tel GTE Hawaiian Tel recently began charging $6.07 per month for each nonprimary residential line, up from $5 previously.

The charge covers extra lines to a residence -- the extra ones have separate phone numbers -- not extensions off the main or primary line.

Dean Matsuura, HawTel's director of regulatory affairs, said the change is part of the Federal Communications Commission's reform of subscriber line charges. The reform was mandated by the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The so-called interstate nonprimary access charge is designed to help carriers recover the cost of hooking up a residence to the main phone network.

The interstate fee for the primary line remains at $3.50 per month, which is in addition to the basic residential line charge.

Matsuura said only a minority of GTE customers -- he couldn't say how many -- have nonprimary lines and will be affected by the change. He said GTE has hooked up about 20,000 extra lines to residences statewide.

As part of the FCC-mandated reform, access charges that long-distance companies pay to local carriers have decreased. That, in theory, will lower long-distance rates, which should offset increases in the nonprimary line charge, Matsuura said.

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