July 1, 2001
L.A. Loves a Loophole
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Ohio Pushes Local Service Competition
The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has reaffirmed its desire to open local exchange telephone markets to competition, urging "all deliberate speed." The PUC voiced its telephone competition policy in approving a new, six-year, price-cap regulation plan for Ameritech Ohio, a local exchange carrier (LEC). The plan, which reduces the LEC's revenue by $92.3 million, cuts intrastate toll charges by $7.9 million, residential rates by $55 million, and access charges for long-distance carriers by $8 million. To protect ratepayers in the interim, the PUC directed the carrier to set up a separate subsidiary for its electronic publishing activities.
The PUC's stipulated that the LEC "promise" not to oppose certification of alternative basic local service providers by claiming an exclusive franchise in its service territory. For its part, the PUC agreed to support elimination of federal restrictions on Ameritech's provision of interLATA long-distance services. In addition, the PUC said it would expedite a generic docket to examine and eliminate any existing barriers to competition. Re Ohio Bell Telephone Co., Case No. 93-487-TP-ALT; 93-576-TP-CSS, Nov. 23, 1994 (Ohio P.U.C.).
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