reply to funchords
Re: Total cost? The funny thing (to me anyway) is that the ability to line-item taxes, fees, and surcharges was lobbied for by the telcos, as you say, to show the customer just how much of their money is not going to actually providing the service but to "overhead". The effect, however, has been almost the opposite of what the telcos wanted. All of those "extra" charges are really part of the cost of doing business; the ultimate effect of breaking them out has more than anything convinced the customer that he or she doesn't desire the service at all, so the customer will find an alternative that comes as close as possible to simply having an all-inclusive cost, or just dropping it altogether. Of course, the govt. has been moving those taxes/fees/etc. onto VoIP as quickly as it can manage it to make up for the "lost" revenue (in spite of the fact that those charges were meant to be on the PSTN infrastructure more so than the service, which, since VoIP is a data service, makes me feel immensely cheated to have to pay any additional charges for it).