11:56 pm
Mon February 16, 2009

Deaf Surcharge

Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky Public Service Commission has announced it will expand surcharges for the deaf and hard of hearing to wireless phones. Kentucky Public Radio's Kristin Espeland reports.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Two surcharges found on your landline telephone bill have been going to provide the deaf, hard of hearing, and those with speech disabilities free telecommunications equipment. The gear either helps them communicate via phone or helps them communicate with people who don't have such equipment. Now, those surcharges will extend to wireless phone bills. The PSC says this is because there are nearly 650,000 Kentuckians who need such services, and their number is likely to grow. Also, more and more households have dropped landlines for wireless-only service. And that's cost the surcharge program some revenue. Now, the charge will actually be just two cents a month for both landlines and wireless numbers, down from seven cents for landline bills.