Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission fears for the future of Missourians' telephone service.
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Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission fears for the future of Missourians' telephone service.

Date: December 2, 2008
By: Joshua Skurnik
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission Jeff Davis says the deregulation of the Missouri telephone industry leaves the future uncertain.

Joshua Skurnik (SCUR-nic) has more from Jefferson City. 

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OutCue: SOC

A law passed in May now makes AT&T a competitive company.

That means its rates are unregulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission

Davis says Missourians could be faced with a monopoly in their telephone service.

Actuality:  DAVIS8.WAV
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Description: I could envision AT&T being the only game in town, and then being able to raise and lower rates with impunity just like they were able to do thirty-five years ago when they were the phone company, but at least then they were regulated by the Public Service Commission.
The phone company says this was needed to survive in a market where cable, wireless, and the Internet provide consumers with service options.

Reporting from the State Capital, I'm Joshua Skurnik.


Intro: AT&T of Missouri became an unregulated company, and could be on the verge of a major price hike.

Joshua Skurnik (SCUR-nic) has more from Jefferson City 

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OutCue: SOC

New media like wireless, internet and cable aren't regulated, and the Dallas-based company says it wants to offer the same competitive services to Missourians.

AT&T Spokesman Kerry Hibbs says the communications giant needs more flexibility and that it will also have to raise prices in rural Missouri.

Hibbs says he doesn't think consumers will be angry.

Actuality:  ATT2.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: They've had a good deal for twenty years, and it's still going to be a good deal, because even if the rates go up they'll still be considerably less than what the people in the big cities pay.

The Head of the Missouri Public Service Commission said he is concerned about AT&T monopolizing the various services and price gouging.

Reporting from the State Capital, I'm Joshua Skurnik.

 


Intro: The Missouri telephone business is becoming deregulated, and the state Public Service Commission says it's worried for the future of consumers.

Joshua Skurnik (SCUR-nic) has more from Jefferson City. 

RunTime:0:42
OutCue: SOC

AT&T of Missouri says it needs the freedom to offer the same options as cable, wireless, and internet phone service providers.

But the head of the Missouri Public Service Commission says price-controlling by the huge communications company could lead to a monopoly.

Century Tel External Communications Manager Anne Marie Sartor said, as an industry competitor, that won't happen.

  

Actuality:  CENT1.WAV
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Description: It's fairly hard to imagine a place where there are zero other choices, I'm sure there are some, but we believe that its going to be better for consumers in the long run  to let competition be true competition.

Sartor says consumers will always have options.

Reporting from the State Capital, I'm Joshua Skurnik.