Eshoo Proposes Adding 'Below-Line' Fees to FCC Consolidated Report

Will Propose Amendment to FCC Reform Bill at Markup Wednesday

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Communications Subcommittee, plans to propose and amendment to the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act in markup Wednesday aimed at so-called "below-the-line" fees on phone and ISP bills.

The amendment would require the commission to include in its consolidated Communications Marketplace Report an examination of those administrative, service and other fees, which she says are not easy to find and are not the government mandated taxes and charges -- like Universal Service Contributions, for example.

"I've examined the websites of the largest U.S. communications companies, and as an educated consumer, it's not easy to find these fees," Eshoo said in a statement. "Sometimes they're noted with an asterisk in small print. Other times consumers have to click through multiple web pages before getting an estimate. The bottom line is that they're not listed in the advertised price of monthly service."

Earlier this month, Eshoo sent letters to major carriers and ISPs seeking more info on the fees.