We get it. Many people today do not want a landline telephone. While the South Central Communications regulated phone line is basically included for free with your High Speed Internet, we understand the fees and taxes associated with this service can also be a source of frustration. So why does SCC require customers in our regulated exchanges have a telephone line with Internet service?
The answer: Each Cooperative member maintaining a landline actually keeps your Internet rates affordable and allows us to provide services to customers in remote areas. The Federal and Utah Universal Service Fund fees (USF) assessed with your phone service are vital to the continued operations of small rural telecoms like SCC.
South Central Communications covers only 8 counties across Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. This coverage area is some of the most sparsely populated regions of the country. In some cases, we provide High Speed Internet to areas with less than 1 person per square mile. The only reason it’s financially possible for us to provide service to places like this, is because SCC receives assistance from the government based on every local access phone line we provide.
Federal and State USF programs were created to ensure that rural parts of the country can receive and afford access to communication services. SCC takes full advantage of these programs to maximize the amount of financial recovery dollars we can receive. While most people today consider an Internet connection more vital to their daily lives, these USF programs have not caught up with the times and remain tied to landline telephone service.
Without this USF system and SCC requiring telephone lines, we would have to charge considerably more for Internet service for it to remain viable. And we’d no longer be able to invest in our communities with a robust new fiber optic network. It may seem like dropping your landline would lower your SCC bill. But that phone line is actually making your Internet rate affordable, in addition to giving us the ability provide service to remote areas that no other provider would invest in.
So, while you may not be utilizing the landline telephone, please understand it is a benefit to you and to your community. By paying the small fees associated with your SCC landline telephone, you’re helping make it possible for us to develop an advanced fiber network and provide high-level services, like Gig Internet, at nationally-competitive rates for you and your neighbors.