ISPs decry phone access charges

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An industry group representing Internet service providers asked the Federal Communications Commission not to allow local phone companies to charge access fees to ISPs that use their phone lines. In comments filed Thursday, the Internet Access Coalition, whose members include America Online, CompuServe, Earthlink Network and Microsoft Corp., said such access charges would increase the cost of Internet access and impede growth of the Internet market. Phone companies say Internet access services clog their lines.

A separate group, the Internet User Coalition, which is backed by the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Media Access Project, sided with the Internet service providers, saying that adding charges to Internet access would delay deployment of open architectures necessary for the Internet to reach its potential.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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