| State of New Jersey
Department Of The Public Advocate
240 West State St.
P.O. Box 851
Trenton, NJ 08625-0851
Phone: (609) 826-5090 Fax: (609) 984-4747
|JON S. CORZINE
For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2006
|RONALD K. CHEN
For Further Information
N.J. Public Advocate and Rate Counsel Files Appeal With FCC of AT&T’s “Belated” Request for Recovery of Telephone Number Portability Fees
Newark, N.J.—N.J. Public Advocate and Rate Counsel, has filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking that the commission deny AT&T’s “belated” waiver requests, including forbearance from the commission’s rules regarding the recovery of local number portability (LNP) costs—fees charged when a consumer switches local telephone carriers and wants to keep the same telephone number.
Singh said AT&T’s request, which is also supported by Verizon Communications, is not fair to consumers and is being made more than two years past the expiration date for recovery of LNP costs. The FCC’s five-year recovery period expired on January 31, 2004.
“The failure of AT&T to accurately track its costs recovery related to local number portability fees is the sole responsibility of AT&T, its officers and shareholders and should not be borne by ratepayers,” said Singh. “It is also simply improper for the company to make such a request more than two years after the end of the recovery period set by the FCC.”
In its request, AT&T is seeking recovery of some $211 million in un-recovered LNP costs from ratepayers. Verizon’s request seeks $100 million. AT&T claims that the under recovery of fees is due to factors beyond its control and a slow down in the company’s telephone line growth due to competition and market factors.
The New Jersey Ratepayer Advocate filed comments with the FCC on April 10, 2006. For the full text of comments, go to www.rpa.state.nj.us.
The Division of the Ratepayer Advocate is an independent state agency that represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer and telecommunications and cable TV service. It serves as an active participant in every proceeding whenever New Jersey companies seek changes in rates or services. The Ratepayer Advocate also gives consumers a voice in setting long-range energy, water, and telecommunications policy that will affect the delivery of services well into the future. Additional information on this and other matters can be found at the Division of Ratepayer Advocate’s website at http://www.rpa.state.nj.us.