Breaking: Oklahoma Postpones Toll-Free calling plan

A commission on Thursday postponed a plan to make Oklahoma the first state in the nation to have toll-free statewide long-distance telephone service after one commissioner decried what he said are misunderstandings that have led some groups to oppose the idea.

“There is some miscommunication,” Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony said before the three-member commission voted unanimously to postpone implementation of the plan from March 29 to Jan. 19.

“It will take that long for people to calm down,” Anthony said. He and Commissioner Dana Murphy said it is prudent to delay the plan while other issues that could change the regulatory landscape, including a telephone deregulation bill that is pending in the Legislature, are considered.

Anthony said he and other commissioners have received e-mails and messages from telephone customers concerned that the long-distance calling plan for land lines will raise monthly telephone rates by more than $3 per phone number, including cell phones users who already enjoy toll-free long-distance calling.

“That is a misunderstanding. It’s not a new tax. It’s not a new fee,” Anthony said. He said the commission has no taxing authority and that the $3 calculation is a reclassification of existing charges that are already paid by telephone users.

“We haven’t done a very good job of messaging what the proposal is,” Murphy said.

Read more …

Thanks to the Associated Press:
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/03/11/business-mobile-telecommunications-financial-impact-us-telephone-deregulation-oklahoma_7429180.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

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