The average residential long distance bill of $16 a month will drop about 8 cents under an $83.4 million rate reduction for consumers and small businesses announced by AT&T.

The reduction, which took effect Tuesday, is $49.5 million larger than the company had said it would be in a filing Dec. 18 with the Federal Communications Commission.The extra savings resulted from a Dec. 21 FCC decision not to raise what it charges AT&T for federal programs to subsidize local phone companies, said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel.

The package includes reductions of 2 percent for weekday direct-dialed, state-to-state long distance calls and 0.7 percent during evening hours. On average, a consumer will pay 1 percent less for those calls.

It also includes price reductions for calls between the U.S. mainland and what had been East Germany; from Hawaii to 17 countries and areas; for some operator assisted station-to-station and person-to-person calls to Mexico; and for the company's Reach Out World program prices to selected countries and areas, including eliminating the $5 service order charge.