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.
AT&T to raise prices for some services.
Verizon FiOS rates also going up.
For the second time in two years, AT&T is raising local landline phone rates by more than 20 percent. The phone giant plans to start informing customers next week that charges for basic phone service will jump from $13.50 a month to $16.45 on Jan. 2. AT&T also plans to raise the rate for its LifeLine service for low-income customers, by 73 cents to $6.84 a month. The moves will affect half of the company’s 6.5 million phone customers in the state. Those who subscribe to newer, bundled service packages generally won’t be affected.