News In Brief

Delay in phone fee final, but rate drop is a victim

The Federal Communications Commission made final its order to delay until mid-1985 a $2-a-month telephone access charge for residential and small business customers.

Observers said it appeared likely that a proposed Senate bill to postpone access charges for two years would be set aside indefinitely in a Senate vote expected today.

The new FCC plan also gives long-distance companies competing with American Telephone & Telegraph a break on the price they pay for their connections to local lines until the connection quality becomes as good as AT&T's. But the FCC decision will reduce or eliminate AT&T's planned $1.75 billion cut in long-distance phone rates.

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