The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a move to full competition in the telecommunication intraLATA toll market. The PSC has concluded that its earlier concerns regarding uneconomic duplication of facilities and erosion of revenues for the state's local exchange carriers (LECs) no longer justified keeping the market closed. According to the PSC, competition among interexchange carriers (IXCs) for interLATA traffic had benefited consumers by producing over 100 certificated carriers competing in price and packaging of services. In addition, their construction of new technologies such as fiber-optic facilities had now made it economically more efficient for the IXCs to use their own networks to transmit intraLATA calls. Finally the PSC concluded that no LEC was able to show any current threat to revenues as a result of opening the intraLATA toll market, especially in light of numerous "overearnings" proceedings that had produced LEC rate decreases over the past several years. It also noted that prior approval of competition for intraLATA switching had given LECs a 47-percent increase in retail billed minutes of use during that time period. Re IntraLATA Toll Transmission, Docket No. 95-528-U, Order No. 4, Nov. 20, 1995 (Ark.P.S.C.). t
Cases were reviewed by Phillip S. Cross, an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.
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