Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 16:42:14 -0500 (EST)
From: "Todd J. Paglia" 
Subject: Public Meetings on ISDN Pricing in Maryland - January 8/9.


The Maryland ISDN rate case in which the Consumer Project on
Technology has been participating for the past several months
recently concluded the hearing stage.  Now you get your turn -- the
public will have an important final opportunity to make its voice
heard in favor of reasonably priced ISDN.  Two meetings will be
held and the Hearing Examiner whom will make the initial decision
in this case, Robert McGowan, will be present to listen to the
public's views.


	In the MD ISDN rate case, CPT has been advocating for a simple
Flat Rate or a Virtual Flat Rate (capped at 200 hours of 1B usage; 100
hours of 2B) for residential consumers--rather than Bell Atlantic's *7*
rate pack options which we believe are confusing, cumbersome, and penalize
over- and under-utilization of the pre-paid blocks of usage. 

	The MD Staff Counsel has basically sided with Bell Atlantic on the
pricing of ISDN.  The MD Office of People's Counsel, however, has
advocated a $29 per month flat rate.  CPT believes that this is a bit
high.  We think that a flat rate or a virtual flat rate should be in the
range of $20-$25 per month.  This rate would make Bell Atlantic's rates
comparable to the rates charged by Ameritech (4 states),
Bellsouth-Tennessee, PacBell, and others. 


	A few issues are of particular importance to the Commission. 
Among the most important is the type of pricing proposal that consumers
prefer.  Whether consumers favor full measured usage or Bell Atlantic's
call pack options when compared to a flat or virtual flat rate is a key
issue and should be addressed in your oral or written comments. Additional
background on this and other issues can be found at CPT's Bell Atlantic
ISDN Action page and general ISDN Page:

  *BA ISDN Action- 

  *General ISDN-


	A public meeting will be held at the MD Public Service Commission
at 7:30 p.m, 6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD.  For persons
interested in speaking at the meeting, and we encourage everyone to take
advantage of this opportunity, registration will begin at 7:00 p.m. 


	A public meeting will be held in the Council Chambers, 
3rd Floor, 100 Maryland Ave at 7:30 p.m.  For persons interested in
speaking at the meeting, and we encourage everyone to take advantage
of this opportunity, registration will begin at 7:00 p.m. We will
get the word out on the exact location when it is determined.


	CPT strongly suggests that interested people come to the meeting. 
This is by far the most effective way to meaningfully express your views. 
Written comments, however, will also be accepted at the following address
if you cannot make it to the meeting: 

Daniel P Gahagan, Executive Secretary
Attn:  Case No. 8730
Maryland Public Service Commission
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD  21202-6806

No deadline has been established yet but we recommend that you
get your comments in by mid-January at the latest.

	Email Comments may also be made to the following address:


	For background information on ISDN in the Bell Atlantic region,
visit CPT's Bell Atlantic ISDN Action Page at:

Newsgroups: dc.general,comp.dcom.isdn From: (David Lesher) Subject: Re: residential ISDN rates Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 05:48:19 GMT (Edward Rice) writes: > > > Well, Article 78 Section 68 of Maryland Code [Public Service > > > Commission Law] for one....... >Is that just a piece of a tariff approval, or is that part of the >structural design of Maryland utility regulation? In any case, it's >/specific to Maryland/, which makes it something less than a God-given >right for the rest of us. It is Maryland Code. That is to say, law passed by the state legislature. It is not something the PSC can just waive. It would require a vote by the folks we send to Annopolis. Such is not impossible, but not as easily slipped in as a simple tariff change. The same law requires Ma to give us six free DA calls per month. It used to be 12; but Bell *was* able to lobby a change down to six sometime in the last few years. I'm sure they'd LOVE to further lower it....say to zero. Other states have similar flat rate laws. Check. If not, maybe you should bug your elected folks to introduce same. -- A host is a host from coast to & no one will talk to a host that's close...........(v)301 56 LINUX Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433 is busy, hung or dead........vr vr vr vr.................20915-1433
Newsgroups: dc.general,comp.dcom.isdn From: (Albatross) Subject: Re: residential ISDN rates Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 22:22:30 GMT Maryland PSC Considers Flat Rate ISDN tariffs October 20, 1995 After the Maryland consumers, the Maryland Office of People's Counsel (OPC) and the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) staff began to question the Bell Atlantic ISDN tariff, a lot has happened. BA withdrew its proposed tariff (described below) and now wants to continue its trial program, which is priced by the minute for ISDN users. BA has promised the Maryland PSC it will file a flat rate tariff, but it won't say when, or how much it will be. It is important to write the Maryland PSC speak out against excessive ISDN tariffs. Every letter or fax helps. Here is some background on what's been happening. Bell Atlantic (BA) first submitted a residential BRI tariff to the Maryland Public Service Commission under "Transmittal Letter 933". This tariff would have been the cost of "local measured service" (LMS) for POTS (roughly $14 per month in the Washington DC area), plus a monthly premium of $19.50. In addition, there would be a per minute usage charge, for both data and voice. The BA tariff would have made a distinction between data and voice. The "Circuited Switched Data" (CSD) rate would be 2 cents per minute per B channel between 7 am and 7 pm, Monday through Friday, and 1 cent per minute at all other times. Voice calls would be priced at 3.4 cents for the 1st minute, and 1.3 cents for each additional minute, at all times. No other flat rate option for residential ISDN was offered. BA now offers POTS service under either flat rate or measured usage. Maryland state law requires the company to offer a flat rate option for telephone service,. But BA tried to say that ISDN service, including voice over ISDN, wasn't really telephone service, for purposes of the law. The Maryland Office of People's Counsel wrote the PSC to object to the fact that BA did not offer a flat rate voice option. The Consumer Project on Technology wrote the PSC a letter . And many individuals contacted the PSC or the OPC. On Wed, Oct 4, 1995, after vocal opposition and numerous letters and faxes from Maryland consumers, the Maryland PSC deferred a decision on the BA tariff until the Oct 18, 1995 Commission meeting. The PSC directed the Maryland Office of People's Counsel (OPC) to meet with BA and the PSC staff to come up with alternative proposals. However, because Bell Atlantic filed a letter with the Commission on Monday, October 16, 1995, withdrawing the tariff (and promising that the company will file a flat rate tariff soon), that action has been canceled. Now BA wants to charge the same fees as the withdrawn tariff, which is based upon per minute charges for voice and data, but call it a "trial," and defer action on the flat rate tariff until late next year. The promise by BA to offer a flat rate tariff is an important victory for ISDN consumers, but there is still the question of when the flat rate tariff will be available, and what BA will charge for it? According to press reports, Bell Atlantic says it was considering $65 per month for the flat rate residential ISDN tariff. In Tennessee a PSC staff analysis said that residential ISDN only costs the telephone company $9.77 per month more than POTS. [Borrows and Pollard, The National regulatory Research Institute's Review of Tennessee's ISDN Cost Studies, NRRI Quarterly Bulletin 15:1] In 1991, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities found that the incremental cost of ISDN service was $7.40 per month over the cost of POTS. The Consumer Project on Technology recommends an ISDN tariff which is based upon the tariff for POTS, plus the incremental cost of upgrading the service to ISDN. That should result in a flat rate price of $20 to $30 per month. In Tennessee a flat rate residential ISDN tariffs is $33 per month for some cities. The Maryland OPC is interested in hearing from ratepayers regarding this issue. They will also forward comments to the PSC. Send your comments by mail or fax to: Maryland People's Counsel Attn: ISDN St. Paul Center #2102 Baltimore MD 21202 voice: 410/767-8150; fax: 410/333-3616 The Public Service Commission of Maryland c/o Donald P. Everleth Assistant Executive Secretary 6 St. Paul Street Baltimore, MD 21202 via fax 410 333 6495

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 09:31:03 -0500 (EST)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Maryland

On January 19, the staff of the Maryland Commission proposed a price cap
plan.  Until now, the Commission has been one of the relatively few states
that has maintained cost-based regulation.  The plan would classify
residential ISDN as "discretionary," which would allow Bell Atlantic to
increase its rate 25 percent per year without Commission approval.  (As a
category, toital revenues disretionary services would be limited, but since
the prices of many of the individual services are falling, this is not much
of a constraint.)  The classification would be subject to review in 3 years.
 In other respects, the plan would eliminate rate cases for 5 years.
The director of telecommunications for Maryland resigned last month.  The
document is filed by the staff counsel, Alan Friefeld, who may know who one
should communicate with if interested. 410-767-8120, 800-492-0474