Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Phone carriers raise unbundled service fees

Leslie Cauley of USA Today has an important story "Phone giants' rising rates questioned" in USA Today on Jan. 29, 2008, link here. The story was also offered to AOL subscribers this morning, and AOL offered a survey.

AT&T and Verizon have been raising prices for specific services like caller-id and anonymous call rejection, as well as local toll calls (common in larger metro areas like Los Angeles). On the other hand, bundled telephone services are remaining competitive with what is offered by cable and Internet companies and may be falling in price.

There are concerns, as always, that the un-tech-savvy and low income or fixed income people are the most vulnerable.

In my own case, I have found (in Arlington VA) that Comcast, while raising fees slightly on Jan. 1, has added some additional channels in the 100-199 range (including Logo) without additional charges. In Fairfax County and Falls Church, Cox offers services essentially the same as Comcast. I still remember when I lived in Annandale in the mid 1990s that the company then was "Media General Cable" and the erection of cell phone towers in the area spurred controversy!

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