AT#x0026;T; adding charge
MINNEAPOLIS -- AT&T; Corp. will start charging its long-distance residential customers in Minnesota an extra $1.95 a month in April.
AT&T; said the charge will make up for access fees it is charged by local phone companies. The company said it pays about 7 cents a minute, about three times as much as in other states, to use local telephone networks to reach customers.
More than 80 local telephone companies do business in Minnesota, led by Qwest Communications Inc. The access fees they charge AT&T,; and other carriers such as Sprint and MCI, vary based on operating costs and state regulations.
Local telephone companies denied overcharging AT&T.
; The company said it would reconsider the new fee if local phone carriers lowered their access fees.