View Full Version : SBC wants deregulation

07-22-2005, 12:30 PM
What do you guys think about SBC's bid for deregulation? Personally, I think SBC still holds too much of a majority of the land-line phone service in this state. Cox simply hasn't signed on enough customers yet. Andrecent rulings declaring that SBC's lines belong to SBC, further hinder Cox's attempts to enter the market successfully.

"Consumer groups oppose SBC bid
By Jim Stafford
The Oklahoman

New opposition surfaced this week to SBC's bid to have its local telephone service in Oklahoma declared "competitive" and removed from price regulation by the state Corporation Commission.

A pair of national consumer groups -- the Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America -- wrote a joint letter to Oklahoma's three Corporation Commissioners urging them to reject SBC's deregulation bid.

The commission conducted two days of contentious hearings on the issue in June and is now deliberating.

"Granting SBC's request is expected to result in higher prices and eliminate your agency's oversight of service quality," the consumer groups wrote in a letter dated July 19. "Thousands of Oklahoma families who rely on having affordable basic phone service will have no choice but to pay higher prices or go without phone service."

SBC spokesman Andy Morgan replied with a statement that said both groups have a history of opposing "change, progress and competition."

SBC is the state's largest telephone provider and has operated under so-called "alternative regulation" for the past five years in which its services are placed in "baskets" and regulated according to the level of competition established for each basket.

The company wants most of those services declared competitive and placed in a basket that would allow it freedom to set pricing as the "market" dictates.

"Our state attorney general, who represents the Oklahoma consumer, has already issued his position that our application is in the public's best interest," Morgan said.

In their letter, the consumers groups claim that SBC has no "meaningful competition" in Oklahoma, including that of wireless companies and Internet calling, known as voice over Internet protocol.

The consumer groups also point out that SBC owns a majority interest in the nation's largest wireless company, Cingular Wireless, giving it "little incentive" to compete with its own company.

Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said "commissioners don't comment on pending cases."

The Oklahoma AARP also opposes SBC's deregulation bid."

SBC deregulation bid

The three members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission are expected to vote today on SBC's request to have most of its state telephone services declared "competitive" and removed from price regulation, commission spokesman Matt Skinner said.

The commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Commission's third-floor courtroom of the Jim Thorpe Building, 2101 Lincoln Blvd."

07-28-2005, 04:12 PM
Looks like SBC got their way:

"Commission votes to deregulate SBC
Oklahoma City (AP) _ The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 2-1 Thursday to deregulate SBC Communications in the state. The action means SBC will no longer have the price of its phone services in the state regulated by the commission. SBC says the move “levels the playing field” and allows it to invest in technology and improve its services including expanding broadband services in rural areas of the state. Critics include Cox Communications and the AARP who say deregulation eventually will lead to higher prices. Commissioner Bob Anthony voted against the plan saying he doesn't believe there is adequate competition for phone services in Oklahoma. Anthony also says he doesn't believe the order follows commission rules and would be overturned if challenged in court. Commissioners Denise Bode and Jeff Cloud voted for the deregulation"

07-28-2005, 06:40 PM
This is not good. Hopefully someone does file suit to challenge this.