Letters

Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

Regarding Anthony York's story, (Capitol Weekly, May 8, "Unresolved issues from writers' strike spill over into Capitol"), the reporter took a statement sent to SAG members regarding our current contract proposal and reported it as if it was about this bill.

SAG is not involved in any way with SB 1765. Please set the record straight.

Pamm Fair,

Deputy National Executive Director,

Screen Actors Guild

Dear Editor:

The story on unlisted numbers (Capitol Weekly, May 8) wasn't very balanced. My clients, SureWest and Frontier, are required to provide free directory listings as part of their basic service and for 40 years have been authorized to charge for unlisted service.

They rely on these revenues to balance against the below cost basic service rates in a very competitive market.

SureWest and Frontier have lowered more prices than they have raised since the onset of competition and SureWest currently offers the lowest priced bundle of telco/DSL and video in the state at $67/month. That is a much lower price than you could have found two years ago or even last year.

While Senator Kuehl is well intentioned with her bill, SB 1423, the real issue is not privacy, as her sponsor indicates (no one's privacy status will change as a result of the bill – 37 percent of our customers are currently unlisted and 63 percent are listed).

All that will change is TURN will come in an eliminate a service rate that was legally set in a rate-case environment.

Now that there is no rate authority, TURN wants the Legislature to set individual phone service rates in a competitive market where other companies will still be allowed to charge.

All this will do is result in higher prices down the road and it will squeeze true competitors like SureWest and Frontier. If you squeeze the regional companies out of the market, all you are left with are the giants. This is a very curious move for a consumer organization.

This bill is about trying to pull some of the market back under ratemaking — a very damaging precedent. It may not be popular to defend a specific service rate (that none of our customers has complained to us about), but we are doing that in the interest of fairness. It is a lawful rate and we have no way to make up lost revenues if they eliminate this rate.

Kelly Boyd,

Sacramento

Dear Editor:

I read your article today on "Obscure effort to charge for unlisted numbers leads to ferocious lobbying fight in Capitol" (Capitol Weekly, May 8) In the article, it said that according to the communications industry coalition, "they were unaware of any consumer unhappiness with charging for unlisted numbers." It also said that the PUC President personally called Senate Pro Tem Don Perata to get the offending bill removed from the Appropriations Committee calendar. The request was granted.

I called the PUC to register my complaint on this issue. The listed 800 number rang for three minutes and then stopped. I then filed a complaint on line.

Next, I tried to call AT&T to register a formal complaint of the charges. I could not find a complaint number. I tried to Google under "AT&T complaints" but all that I got was a bunch of web sites where people listed their complaints.

Maybe you should ask the individual members of the communications industry coalition how a consumer is to register a formal complaint on the issue. I want to be the first with AT&T.

David Lockmiller,

Bay Area

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