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AT&T's Possible Rate Change

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Consumer advocates and citizens can weigh in today on whether AT&T should be allowed to set its own rates for landline phone service.

The Illinois Commerce Commission, the state’s utility monitoring board, hosts a public hearing this evening on a petition AT&T filed last year to deregulate its rate prices.

The company says it is hurt financially by current state regulations.

But David Kolata, Executive Director of CUB, the Citizens Utility Board, says alternatives to AT&T’s home phone service are too expensive.

Kolata says, “While the people at the high-end have a choice, the vast majority of customers don’t have any competitive options at this moment.”

An AT&T representative says there are more than 70 competitors to its service, not including cell phone companies, Internet calling and package bundles of phone, Internet and television service.

The Illinois Commerce Commission is expected to rule on the deregulation petition by June.

The public hearing is scheduled in north suburban Skokie.

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