FAQ: What are all these charges on my bill?

FCC Mandated Access Charge: Also known as a Subscriber Line Charge, this is a federally mandated fee that all telephone users pay. This creates a national pool of money that is used to subsidize areas of the country where it costs more to provide phone service (like the areas we live). If Americans did not have this fee on their phone bill, your cost to receive local phone service would more than triple. Park Region Telephone customers actually benefit from this national program.

Federal Universal Service Charge (Universal Service Fund (USF) or Universal Connectivity Fee)

Because telephones provide a vital link to emergency services, to government services and to surrounding communities, it has been our nation’s policy to promote telephone service to all households since this service began in the 1930s. The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. Congress has mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers choose to pass their contribution costs on to their customers in the form of a line item, often called the “Federal Universal Service Fee” or “Universal Connectivity Fee.”

FAQ: How can I remove my name from telemarketing call lists?

The FCC requires a person or entity placing live telephone solicitations to your home to maintain a record of your request not to receive future telephone solicitations from that person or entity. A record of your do-not-call request must be maintained for ten years. This request should also stop calls from affiliated entities if you would reasonably expect them to be included, given the identification of the caller and the product being advertised. Each time you receive a call from a different person or entity, though, you must request that that person or entity not call you again. Tax-exempt non-profit organizations are not required to keep do-not-call lists.

When you receive telephone solicitation calls, clearly state that you want to be added to the caller’s do-not-call list. You may want to keep a list of those places that you have asked not to call you.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) sponsors the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which maintains a do-not-call list. DMA members are required to use this list. Once you register, your name stays on file for 5 years. You may register (for free) by mailing your name, phone number and signature in a letter to:

Telephone Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-914
You can also register online (cost $5.00) at www.the-dma.org/cgi/offtelephonedave.

FAQ: What is DSL service?

DSL (digital subscriber line) is high-speed Internet access over your existing phone line. DSL converts your existing analog phone line into a high-speed digital phone line. Using DSL technology, it delivers up to 50MB per second – that’s at least 100 times faster than a standard 56K dial-up modem!

How does DSL service work?

DSL technology takes advantage of your existing phone line. While regular phone calls are transferred at relatively low frequencies, DSL data is transmitted at much higher frequencies. Both types of transmission can occur simultaneously without interference. Voice transmissions and fax machines will operate as usual.

Can I get DSL service?

We are installing the equipment necessary to provide DSL service in many of our serving areas. However, DSL service is also contingent on the distance from your home to the DSL access equipment we have installed in our central office in your exchange. Each type of equipment and technology has a varying maximum reach, but the average maximum distance at which high-speed DSL data can be delivered is about 18,000 cable feet. To find out if DSL is available to you or other alternatives available, call our Customer Service Department at 218-998-2000 or 218-826-6161.

What does an “always on” connection mean?

DSL gives you a dedicated connection between your computer and your phone network so your computer is always connected to the Internet. There’s no more dialing in, no more waiting to get online, no more busy signals. “Always on” means the Internet is always a click away.

What is the charge for DSL?

Click here for pricing information.

FAQ: Why should I use Park Region's Internet service and not the free CDs I get in the mail?

Park Region’s Internet service is a local telephone call for customers in these towns:

Battle Lake, Fergus Falls, Pelican Rapids, Underwood, Dalton, Maine, Vining, Erhard, Henning, Ashby, Cormorant, and Browns Valley.

The CDs that are sent in the mail or given as free promotional offers are from large Internet Service Providers who do not provide local telephone dial-up numbers for towns outside of major metropolitan areas. This means you’ll incur long distance charges for the time you are on-line with these companies. The long distance charges are over and above any plan charges they may require.

FAQ: How do I contact the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission?

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

121 7th Place E. Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101-2147

  • Consumer Assistance/Information: (651) 296-0406 consumer.puc@state.mn.us
  • TDD/TTY (For Hearing Impaired): (651) 297-1200
  • Toll Free: (800) 657-3782
  • General Information: (651) 296-7124
  • Fax: (651) 297-7073
  • For comments, questions, and complaints, visit their web page at www.puc.state.mn.us

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

  • General information and inquiries: fccinfo@fcc.gov 1-888-225-5322 (1-888-CALL FCC)
  • Voice: toll-free (888) 835-5322 (1-888-TELL FCC)
  • TTY: toll-free (202) 418-2555
  • TTY: toll (202) 418-0232
  • FAX: (202) 418-2830 FAX on Demand
  • Visit their web page at www.fcc.gov

FAQ: How do I sign up for Minnesota's Do Not Call List and how does it work?

Minnesotans can call a toll-free phone number at 800-921-4110 to register up to three residential phone numbers during a single call. The automated system will recognize the phone number and will ask the caller to confirm the information.

Consumers can also register online by going to the Department of Commerce Web site at MN.Gov

Minnesota’s Do Not Call list, established by the 2002 legislature and signed into law by Governor Ventura, is expected to reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls to consumers. Minnesota residents may register their phone numbers – at no charge – on the Do Not Call list and telemarketers are required to remove those numbers from their databases.

As of January 1, 2003, telemarketers will be required to purchase a new Do Not Call list every three months. Violators could face civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation and repeat offenders could be barred from all telemarketing in the state. The Department of Commerce will maintain the list and enforce the law.

Certain organizations are exempt from the law and do not have to purchase the Do Not Call list before phoning Minnesota residents:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Political organizations
  • Businesses with a prior relationship with the customer
  • Solicitors that do not intend to complete the sale over the phone, but rather complete the transaction in a face-to-face setting

Other provisions in the No Call List law:

All telemarketers will be prohibited from using devices that disable Caller ID on consumers’ telephones.

Telemarketers will be required to immediately identify themselves, the company they represent and the product they are selling.

If the Federal Trade Commission develops a nationwide “do not call list,” Minnesota’s list will be automatically included on the national register. In that case, companies that obtain the federal list wouldn’t be required to buy the state list.

Complaints or Problems:

If you have problems with the registration system or any complaints about the Do Not Call list, please call the Department of Commerce at 651-282-5064.

FAQ: I have some questions about LAN wiring - can you suggest any resources?

http://www.zytrax.com/tech/layer_1/cables/tech_lan.htm might be a helpful guide for you. This link also has other cable and wiring frequently asked questions and information.