A number of consumer advocacy groups
have trying to encourage the FCC
and government to put a stop to the consolidation of service providers that is taking place. They argue the old AT&T is being rebuilt and the telecom industry is heading in the wrong direction.
In response the FCC has publicly commented
that there is more competition that ever from cable companies as well as wireless and satellite providers.
But the FCC’s comments about an abundance of competition seems to have been put to the test recently as Verizon
has announced a new broadband surcharge. According to an article
in the Wall Street Journal, last weekend, Verizon began emailing its roughly six million high-speed Internet subscribers, informing them they would no longer be charged the Universal Service Fund fee -- which was $1.25 or $2.83 a month, depending on speed of service. But it went on to say that it was instituting a "supplier surcharge" of $1.20 or $2.70 a month beginning Aug. 26.
Many point to this new fee as evidence there is a lack of real broadband competition in the market and they further argue the timing of this increase – just as the FCC decided broadband subscribers no longer had to pay into the Universal Service Fund, is especially sneaky.
It is for this reason the FCC decided to send a “letter of inquiry” to Verizon in order to ascertain the reasoning behind the surcharge.