Schwarzenegger signs Calif. rural phone service bills.

   California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a pair of bills designed to preserve phone services to people in rural and high-cost areas of California. 

Under the new laws, funding will continue to flow into subsidy programs for basic phone services in rural areas. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has deregulated all phone rates, with the exception of basic residential phone service. Since deregulation took place in 2006, rates on caller ID, call waiting, unlisted numbers and directory assistance have all gone up.

AT&T, the largest provider of service in so-called “Fund-B” areas, has submitted a proposal to increase the basic residential rate from $10.69 to $25.

The Humboldt Beacon: Gov. Schwarzenegger signs bills preserving rural phone service.

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