Dear Valued Customer,
Two years ago, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) decided to stop providing financial support to rural telecommunications providers through the Texas Universal Service Fund (USF). The USF was created by the Texas Legislature to keep rural phone bills affordable as we maintain and upgrade high-cost networks in our low subscriber count areas.
When this funding stopped, rural telecommunications providers were forced to sue the state. Recent court decisions upholding the law compel the PUC to resume this funding, and to pay back more than $200 million owed to rural telecommunications providers. The Commission has chosen to implement a steep rate increase on all phone customers in the state – both urban and rural – to collect the money they owe. While we are encouraged the Commission has taken preliminary steps to restore funding to appropriate levels, we hope they will reconsider the drastic rate increase and will instead consider a solution that balances the court orders with the economic impact on all phone customers across the state.
Because of the commission’s decision, all telephone providers, including Etex, will experience an increase in regulated surcharges as defined by the PUC. Etex strongly disagrees with the commission’s hasty reaction that subsequently costs consumers a substantial increase to their phone service. We are actively challenging this decision and feel the increase will be temporary. This means the telephone portion of your Etex bill will increase starting 08/01/2022. This will only affect customers that have telephone services. For information on how to change your services, please contact our business office at 903-797-4357.