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Universal phone service: Isn't that already paid for?

August 15, 2013|By David Lazarus
  • Rotary phone
Rotary phone

Jason spotted the Universal Service charge on his phone bill. He did what many people have done -- he wondered if that's a real thing or some bogus fee from his friendly neighborhood service provider.

Congress created the Universal Service Fund in 1997. Its purpose was to raise billions of dollars for ensuring that all homes have access to a phone line.

A worthy cause.

These days, though, pretty much every home does have access to a phone line. So why are we still paying for universal service?

There's a reason, and it's a good one. Check out today's Ask laz video for the answer.

If you have a consumer question of your own, email me at asklaz@latimes.com, or contact me via Twitter using the hashtag #Asklaz.

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