Ariz. Telcos Lose Monopoly Hold
The Arizona Corporation Commission has opened local telephone service to competition. The transition from monopoly service to a structure of managed competition is expected to take six months. The rules allow cable television companies, fiber-optic network owners, and other utilities to seek authority to provide business and residential dial tone in competition with the present local exchange monopoly provider. Customers may select a long-distance company to carry their calls inside a local access and transport area (LATA), just as they presently select a long-distance company to carry calls between LATAs and across state lines. The rules also allow companies that provide competitive services to change prices simply by notifying customers and the commission. All companies must participate in a universal service fund.
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