MEXICO ASKED TO CUT HIGH FEES IT CHARGES TO COMPLETE US CALLS

MEXICO ASKED TO CUT HIGH FEES IT CHARGES TO COMPLETE US CALLS

The United States has asked Mexico to cut inflated fees that U.S. phone companies must pay Mexican carriers to complete calls there.

U.S. telephone companies complain that Mexican regulators unfairly favor Telefonos de Mexico SA, known as Telmex, the former state telephone monopoly.Federal Communications Commission Chairman Bill Kennard's said he is committed to achieving significant annual reductions in ''inflated settlement rates on the U.S.-Mexico route.''

Mr. Kennard wants Telmex to get rid of a 58 percent surcharge it imposes on new long-distance competitors in Mexico to route calls over its network.

Long-distance company officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 58 percent surcharge is on top of fees U.S. carriers must pay to terminate calls in Mexico. Those termination, or settlement, fees are among the highest in the world, they said.