Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

News Release
Proposed Rates Unveiled for Southern Oregon Toll-Free Calling Region
November 12, 2003 (2003 - 030)
Contacts: Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR – In response to a request from the southern Oregon legislative delegation and interested citizens to create a new toll-free calling region, today the Oregon Public Utility Commission released company proposed prices customers would pay to make phone calls in Jackson, Josephine and portions of Douglas County. The Commission staff is reviewing the proposed rates, which could be reduced by the Commission.
The region will allow customers to make toll-free (long distance) phone calls between the exchanges within the region’s boundaries. Currently, customers have this option between some, but not all cities, in the proposed region.
Customers would be able to select a flat monthly rate or be billed on a per-minute basis.
The proposed region includes 18 exchanges and is served by four companies: Qwest, Verizon, Sprint and Citizens Telecommunications Company.
The proposed rates tend to be lower for customers in exchanges that serve a larger number of customers and higher in more rural areas that have fewer customers to share the cost.
A 14-member Advisory task force recommended the proposed boundaries to the Commission. This approach allowed local citizens to make proposals about the size and shape of an EAS region that best fits the needs of Southern Oregon residents.
Customers will receive separate mailings regarding the proposed rates from their phone company before December 1.
The Public Utility Commission will hold seven Open Houses in the region in December where citizens can get information about the region and provide comments to the Commission. In exchanges where proposed rates are especially high, advisory ballots will be sent to customers.
If customers in an exchange decide the cost of joining the region is too high the Commission may allow the exchange to pull out. If this occurs, companies would have to make additional calculations to determine the new costs for the exchanges remaining in the region.
The second rate filings would take place in February or March of 2004 if the final region boundaries vary from those currently proposed.
A final order from the Commission establishing the region is expected in May.
Customers could begin making toll-free calls within the region no later than October 2, 2004.
Proposed Rates for Southern Oregon Toll-Free Calling Region