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News Release
 
Madras EAS Clears Final Hurdle
 
May 5, 2000 (2000-023)
 
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR - The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved Extended Service Area (EAS) rates and EAS petition clearing the way for Madras residents to call Bend and Redmond without incurring long-distance phone charges no later than this fall.
Approval of rates was the final regulatory hurdle for Madras to join Bend's local telephone extended service area.
 
U S WEST may implement the toll-free calling at EAS rates as soon as possible, but must do so no later than by October 7, 2000.
 
The EAS residential rate for Madras will rise to $2.66 per month from the current $1.40. The business rate will increase to $4.00 per month from $2.10. Bend's residential EAS rate will rise to $1.99, from $1.85. Businesses will be $2.99, up from $2.75.
 
Customers can opt for a measured rate of $0.05 a minute with a 50 percent off-peak discount between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.
 
In approving the request, the PUC noted EAS is important to many customers because it allows them toll-free access to family, neighbors, and businesses, as well as emergency, medical, educational and governmental services, not located in their local calling area.
 
The Madras request is among 12 EAS petitions approved by the Commission in a consolidated order.
 
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