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News Release
Commission Finds Community of Interest for South Beach Toll-Free Dialing
 
August 18, 2003 (2003 - 020)
 
Contacts:  Roy Hemmingway, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Lee Beyer, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR – The Oregon Public Utility Commission has determined a community of interest exists between South Beach and the Lincoln City, Gleneden Beach, Depoe Bay, and Toledo exchanges and will proceed with determining costs for toll-free dialing between those communities. However, the Commission found that there isn’t a community of interest between South Beach and the Siletz and Chitwood exchanges.
 
In determining whether a community of interest exists the Commission takes into consideration a variety of factors: geography and demography, employment and commuting patterns, schools, governmental issues, medical and dental services, social services, transportation patterns and calling pattern data.
 
The affected telephone companies will file proposed rates by October 15. The Commission will analyze the proposals and issue a rate decision in February.
 
The Commission will hold public meetings in March or April to discuss and receive input from the public on the rates. If residents still want to proceed the Commission will issue an order in May and residents will be able to begin making toll-free calls between the affected communities no later than August 7, 2004.
 
Customers will have the option of selecting a flat monthly rate or be charged on a per-call basis.
 
The Commission has long recognized the problem with out-dated telephone exchange boundaries. To address this problem, the Commission allows telephone customers to request EAS to nearby exchanges to increase their toll-free calling area. EAS allows customers toll-free access to family, friends, neighbors, and businesses, as well as emergency, medical, educational, and governmental services, located in their calling area.
 
South Beach currently has (EAS) to the Newport, Tidewater, Waldport and Yachats exchanges.
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