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Short Take: Telcos call for cutting charges by $5.6 billion

A coalition of local and long distance telephone companies said they will reduce access charges, the per-minute fees local phone companies charge for connecting long distance calls, by half, or $5.6 billion annually over a five-year period. AT&T, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, GTE, SBC Communications, and Sprint collaborated on the plan, which is intended to lower the cost of long distance calls. The proposal is subject to federal regulatory approval.

A coalition of local and long distance telephone companies said they will reduce access charges, the per-minute fees local phone companies charge for connecting long distance calls, by half, or $5.6 billion annually over a five-year period. AT&T, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, GTE, SBC Communications, and Sprint collaborated on the plan, which is intended to lower the cost of long distance calls. The proposal is subject to federal regulatory approval.