Subscriber line charge

This flat monthly charge was established by a U.S. congressional ruling related to the 1983 Bell System settlement. It was intended to reduce the level of access charges long distance providers pay local phone companies for the use of local networks, therefore promoting competition among long distance providers.

What is it?

It's the part of interstate long-distance rates that pay for some of the cost of the local portion of the telephone network.


The subscriber line charge helps local telephone companies recover some of the costs associated with connecting telephone lines to your home or business. Long distance carriers take advantage of those local lines to connect their long distance calls, and this charge contributes the infrastructure needed to make the telecommunication system work. Regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), this fee is assessed to all incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) end users.

Also known as:

  • FCC-Approved Customer Line Charge
  • FCC Subscriber Line Charge
  • Interstate Subscriber Line Charge
  • Customer Subscriber Line Charge
  • Federal Line Fee
  • Interstate Access Surcharge

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