The Association of U S West Retirees



Phone charges trimmed
By Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, February 23, 2006

A telephone service surcharge of 7 cents a line per month is being eliminated temporarily effective April 1.  The customer surcharge, part of the Low-Income Telephone Assistance Program (LITAP), doesn't need to be collected for the next couple of years because of a $5.5 million fund established by Qwest Communications as part of a settlement with state regulators.  The settlement, approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission last year, stems from a case in which Qwest allegedly made secret agreements with certain phone service resellers.

The surcharge is expected to remain at zero until the fourth quarter of 2008, state regulators said Thursday.

State legislators established LITAP, also known as the "Lifeline" fund, in 1990.  The fund is used to subsidize local telephone service for the low-income.  More than 29,000 Colorado customers received discounts under the program last year.  The Colorado Department of Human Services determines eligibility under specific criteria.,2777,DRMN_23916_4490921,00.html