Every week, I review filings from major carriers across the nation. As I summarize them for our monthly newsletter, inevitably the phrase that appears most often is “AT&T increased……” Every month, rate increases are filed somewhere that affect basic local service rates, optional calling plans, bundled offerings, or local toll. Did you know AT&T Illinois increased their local access line rate for business service three times in a 13-month period, taking the rate from $37.00 to $54.25 per month?
AT&T Georgia increased rates numerous times since 2011, more than doubling the monthly rate for flat rate residential and business service. And did you know AT&T also increased 1+ intraLATA toll business rates several times in the former BellSouth and SBC regions resulting in a current rate of $1.10 per minute? Again, more than doubling the usage rate that existed in many states back in 2011. Just look at the number of changes in Texas to the business intraLATA toll rate.
Okay, I can’t just pick on AT&T. Verizon and CenturyLink (Qwest) had some noteworthy changes this year as well. Verizon increased the Directory Assistance charge by $0.50 per call to $2.49 in several states. CenturyLink increased the monthly charge for a non-listed number to $5.00 in many of the former Qwest territories - an increase of over 400% in North Dakota; 122% in South Dakota; and 100% in Utah. In Washington, the charge for a non-listed number quadrupled from $0.50 to $2.00 per month!
With so many rate changes during the course of a year, it can be challenging for CLECs, especially resellers, to keep their desired profit margin. When retail costs increase, so do your resale costs. Tracking ILEC rate changes is vital in positioning your local products to your best business advantage.