Break Up Big Telecom: $1+ Trillion in Overcharging … And Counting.

How much money have you, your family, friends, business, the city you live in, your neighbors, the State and even America been overcharged by Big Telecom & Big Cable over the last 3 decades?

  • $225 extra a year estimated (range $120-$300 a year) just for these made up fees, with revenues to the company from this 47 million or $10.7 billion additional revenues.
  • $120–300 a year in overcharging.
  • $750 million to $1.5 billion estimated a month to the companies;
  • $9 to $18 billion annually to the companies.
  • $22.7 billion estimated combined average in overcharging from just the add-on “Cost Recovery Fees” and the cable “Broadcast TV & Sports Fees”,
  • This is up from 17.9% in the 2nd quarter, 2016 — just 5 years ago — almost double.
  • On basic phone bills and wireless, it can be $2-$5.00 extra a month, for a plan with a few phones, $24-$60… per service annually. USF is on wireless, wireline interstate services.
  • $11.8 billion dollars annually we attribute to the harms of harvesting basic phone landline customers with continuous rate increases for 15 years.
  • 35 million customers may be overcharged $25–30 a month, $300–360 a year, but it could be as much as 100 million total customers.
  • $2,700-$3,200 per line, we estimate has been overcharged since 2006.
  • $23 billion annually has been diverted to fund the wireless subsidiaries instead up upgrading cities and towns throughout America and this includes over $6.2 billion in access fees to use the networks.
  • $216 billion was charged to the state telecommunications public utilities over the last decade for wireless construction.
  • $1.4 billion was charged to Verizon NY annually in construction costs that were not used for local service, which includes $237 million in access fees.
  • $15.2 billion over a 10-year period was overcharged in just New York for construction that was diverted to wireless.
  • $31,000,000,000 in Annual Overcharging
  • Verizon NY’s 2019 Annual Report showed that BDS, which uses the state utility infrastructure, had a profit margin of 55%; previous years could be over 65%.
  • $80–100 billion in revenue is hiding. There is no FCC or state reports that detail the size, scope and cross-subsidies that are evident
  • Hundreds of millions of access lines are also hiding. In 2007, the FCC stopped publishing the number of copper and fiber optic ‘special access’ lines in service. By 2020, that means that there was approximately $80 billion dollars in revenues with zero published lines in service– and the FCC’s last data, which was part of an investigation using 2013 data, showed that ½ were copper-basic phone lines that were reclassified were NOT be counted as an access line.
  • 108 million wired lines were listed in the FCC’s Marketplace report as being used for voice calling in 2020, while at almost 40 million were the copper based phone line.
  • $8,000-$10,000 per household extra, 1991–2020
  • $450-$625 annually in overcharging



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Bruce Kushnick

Bruce Kushnick


New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 40 years, and I have been playing the piano for 65 years.