3.917 networks threatened? (103)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 9 Jan 90 21:53:55 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 917. Tuesday, 9 Jan 1990.

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 90 10:10:12 LCL
From: Thomas.H.Luxon@MAC.DARTMOUTH.EDU
Subject: Networks at Stake

[I circulate the following because, if true, it potentially touches many
Humanists right away, and since the US is sometimes taken as a leader in
such matters, perhaps all of us later. I say "if true" because we've
been burnt before, so perhaps some verification is in order. I know it
to be true that various states in the US have in the past separately
attempted to "regulate" use of telephone lines for use by modem. I
understand that the reason for doing so is that such use tends to occupy
a circuit far longer than a voice call, thus causing problems in a
system in which the total number of circuits is far lower than
the total number of subscribers. Thus the economic impact of widespread
modem usage could be (or is) significant. --W.M.]

Please read the following forwarded message and act on it as soon as
possible. The bureaucrats are at it again.

>From MEET:Nybblers Printed on Dec29/89
Item 323 11:40 Dec29/89 72 lines No responses
Todd A. Bakal
FCC moves to regulate modem usage

Grabbed from Info-Apple. Pass it around if you're concerned...


Two years ago the FCC tried and (with your help and letters of
protest) failed to institute regulations that would impose
additional costs on modem users for data communications.

Now, they are at it again. A new regulation that the FCC is
quietly working on will directly affect you as the user of a
computer and modem. The FCC proposes that users of modems should
pay extra charges for use of the public telephone network which
carry their data. In addition, computer network services such as
CompuServ, Tymnet, & Telenet would also be charged as much as
$6.00 per hour per user for use of the public telephone network.
These charges would very likely be passed on to the subscribers.
The money is to be collected and given to the telephone company
in an effort to raise funds lost to deregulation.

Jim Eason of KGO newstalk radio (San Francisco, Ca) commented on
the proposal during his afternoon radio program during which, he
said he learned of the new regulation in an article in the New
York Times. Jim took the time to gather the addresses which are
given below.

Here's what you should do (NOW!):

1- Pass this information on. Find other BBS's that are not
carrying this information. Upload the ASCII text into a public
message on the BBS, and also upload the file itself so others can
easily get a copy to pass along.

2- Print out three copies of the letter which follows (or write
your own) and send a signed copy to each of the following:

Chairman of the FCC
1919 M Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554

Chairman, Senate Communication Subcommittee
SH-227 Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Chairman, House Telecommunication Subcommittee
B-331 Rayburn Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Here's the suggested text of the letter to send:

Dear Sir,

Please allow me to express my displeasure with the FCC proposal
which would authorize a surcharge for the use of modems on the
telephone network. This regulation is nothing less than an
attempt to restrict the free exchange of information among the
growing number of computer users. Calls placed using modems
require no special telephone company equipment, and users of
modems pay the phone company for use of the network in the form
of a monthly bill. In short, a modem call is the same as a voice
call and therefore should not be subject to any additional

Sincerely, [your name, address and signature]

It is important that you act now. The bureaucrats already have it
in their heads that modem users should subsidize the phone
company and are now listening to public comment. Please stand up
and make it clear that we will not stand for any government
restriction of the free exchage of information.