What Is The "Federal Subscriber Line Charge?" And How Can I Buck It?

Tucked into your landline phone bill is probably a very official looking fee called the “Federal Subscriber Line Charge,” but did you know it doesn’t go to the federal government?

It’s a fee the FCC allows phone companies to charge to recoup the cost of having phone lines connecting your house to the network. The only thing “federal” about it is that the FCC caps it at $6.50 per line.

Sometimes it’s referred to as a, “Federal access charge,” “Customer or Subscriber Line Charge,” “Interstate Access Charge,” or some other variation.

Having no other service provider available, and fed up with “the way AT&T masquerades fees as legitimate charges,” reader Samuel called up and threatened to cancel over it. He got AT&T to apply a $6 credit to his bill every month for a year.

What is the Subscriber Line Charge and why do I have to pay this charge? [FCC.gov]
Understanding Your Telephone Bill [FCC.gov]
(Photo: Jeremy Brooks)