Phone companies jack up rates for basic phone service

David Lazarus of the L.A. Times:
AT&T customers saw their monthly rate for basic residential phone service jump 22% this month to $16.45. The increase followed a 23% rate hike last year.

And you know what? That’s the good news.

The bad news is that, beginning in January 2011, AT&T and other phone companies will be permitted to jack up basic rates as much as they want — no regulatory limits will apply.

Meanwhile, Verizon raised the price it charges for basic residential service last year to $19.91 monthly from $17.66, Lazarus reports.
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