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News Release
Commission Eliminates A Barrier To Rural EAD
February 2, 1999 (1999-007)
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Ron Karten, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) has revised its policies to allow Extended Area Service (EAS) between non-contiguous exchanges, removing a barrier to a small number of rural exchanges otherwise qualifying for this service.
"Initially, the rule served to prevent chaotic expansion of EAS," said Commission Chairman Ron Eachus, "but with the orderly development of EAS areas largely completed, this rule is no longer needed.
EAS service allows telephone customers to call a nearby telephone exchange or multiple exchanges without paying long-distance charges. It treats these calls as if they were local, which means that customers may call directly to a neighboring community or communities without dialing "1" first. Customers pay for the service primarily through an EAS fee in their monthly bills.
The service may create a cost shift, however. Because all EAS must be revenue neutral for the telephone company, lost toll rates above the EAS fees are recovered through increases in the company’s statewide local rates.
In all, 22 exchanges across Oregon could be affected by the proposal. Of that 22, six – Oakridge, Monument, Long Creek, Westport, Ukiah, and Selma – have filed petitions for EAS.
The Commission’s order allows these exchanges to re-open or continue to pursue their applications under the new standards.
The proposal does not, however, include EAS regional expansions in the Portland metropolitan area. EAS regions have more stringent requirements than individual exchanges.
Under the new policy, petitioning exchanges are required to meet two standards: to demonstrate a "community of interest" between themselves and target exchanges using objective calling data; and to demonstrate that the target exchange meets critical needs such as providing essential government, medical and business services for the petitioning exchange.
A third standard – that petitioning and target exchanges be in the same county – was eliminated as an unnecessary barrier to EAS expansion.
Following is a table showing exchanges potentially affected by the new order.

Target Exchange
Intervening Exchange/Unserved
Juntura (67)Vale (1,962)Harper (135)
Halfway (780)Baker (7,060)Richland (425) & Durkee (114)
Richland (376)Baker (5886)Durkee (114)
Ukiah (186)Pendleton (11,200)Pilot Rock (1,034)
Long Creek (323)John Day (2,146)Mt. Vernon (612)
Monument (263)John Day (2,146)Long Creek (323) & Mt. Vernon (612)
Bates (28)John Day (2,146)Prairie City (678)
Westport (418)Astoria (8,592)Knappa (1,350)
Oakridge (2,312)Eugene-Sprfld (127,000)Lowell (1,150)
Detroit (444)Stayton (6,598)Mill City (1,518)
Tygh Valley (185)The Dalles 10,890Dufur (518)
Wamic (549)The Dalles 10,890Dufur (518)
Maupin (381)The Dalles 10,890Tygh Valley (185) & Dufur (518)
Pine Grove (167)The Dalles 10,890Wamic (549) & Dufur (518)
Chemult (253)Klamath Falls (24,600)Chiloquin (1,408)
Crater Lake (84)Klamath Falls (24,600)Unserved & Chiloquin (1,408)
Diamond Lake (69)Roseburg (29,391)Unserved, North Umpqua (154) & Glide (1,532)
Cave Junction (3,278)Grants Pass (33,773)Unserved Territory
O’Brien (288)Grants Pass (33,773)Selma (837) & Unserved Territory
Selma (837)Grants Pass (33,773)Unserved Territory
Flora-Troy (119)Enterprise (1,986)Unserved Territory
Starkey (46)La Grande (9,552)Unserved Territory
"The new policy provides numerous rural exchanges opportunities for toll-free dialing. It better reflects their needs and actual community boundaries," said Commissioner Roger Hamilton.
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