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Skype Adds Per-Call Connection Fee

Internet telephony service Skype on Thursday started charging a per-call connection fee, except for subscribers making domestic calls in the United States, Canada, and Britain under unlimited calling plans.

The new pricing structure also includes the introduction of a premium plan, called Skype Pro, which removes per-minute charges for SkypeOut calls and instead offers no per-minute charges for U.S. and Canadian subscribers calling a domestic landline. The contract includes a per-call connection fee.

A connection fee would not be charged for domestic calls made by Skype Unlimited plans in the United States, Canada, and Britain. A fee, however, would be charged for international calls, Skype said.

The connection fee in all plans for U.S subscribers is now 0.039 of a dollar. All charges applied only to subscribers calling landlines. Internet calls from one Skype customer to another remain free.

Skype, which is owned by online marketplace eBay, also reduced the dialing rate in seven countries, plus Hawaii and Alaska. The drop made the charges consistent with what Skype charges in 20 other nations.