ISP Advice

Advice on Choosing and Using Internet Dial-Up Access Numbers

Consumers should be extremely careful when selecting primary and back-up Internet dial-up access numbers. Consumers may incur phone charges on their telephone bills for the use of access numbers depending on their location and calling plan. Consumers should not make assumptions — for instance, based on geography or area code — about what numbers are local under their plan, but should verify with their local telephone company that each number chosen is within their local telephone calling plan region. If you call a non-local number you could owe substantial charges to your telephone provider for the time you are connected to the Internet.

Consumers in Rochester who are served by Frontier can call (585) 777-1200 to determine whether their exchanges are billed as local or consult pages 31-32 of their white pages telephone directory. Elsewhere, call your local telephone service provider for this information, and verify that you have not selected any primary or alternative access numbers that may result in long distance charges when dialed by your modem.

Make sure that every household member who surfs the Internet is aware of these important steps. Once access numbers have been selected and verified as local, post a list of these numbers where they can be viewed while using the Internet. Compare the list to the modem dialer number displayed on your screen each time you log onto the Internet. If the number being dialed by your modem is not one of those you selected, cancel the log-on immediately. Then, check to see if your list of selected access numbers has changed. Any unwanted access numbers can be deleted from the list of numbers the modem will dial to connect to the Internet.

If your computer is connected to a dedicated phone line that is not used to make long distance voice or fax calls, you may wish to block that line from making long distance calls. To do this, call your local telephone company and ask them to remove the long distance carrier previously chosen for the computer line. For a small monthly fee, most local telephone companies also provide an optional service that restricts placement of any long distance calls on your line.