The California Public Utilities Commission ordered hearings Monday to determine whether telephone rates should be cut next year when responsibility for maintaining phone wires inside homes is transferred to customers from the phone companies.
The commission also ordered Pacific Bell to show that it is not "unduly benefitting at ratepayers' expense" from lower inflation, interest rates and bond costs. General Telephone will be ordered to do the same next month, a commission spokeswoman said.
In addition, the commission elected Stanley W. Hulett as its president, succeeding Donald Vial. Vial, who was appointed by former Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., will remain as a commissioner and becomes the last Brown appointee on the five-member commission when Victor Calvo's term expires Dec. 31. Besides Hulett, G. Mitchell Wilk and Frederick Duda were appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian.
A San Francisco-based consumer group called Toward Utility Rate Normalization had asked the commission to block the Jan. 1, 1987, implementation of a program, ordered by the Federal Communications Commission, to deregulate maintenance of telephone wiring and jacks inside customers' homes.