Residents in northwest Lakewood, Bellflower, Artesia and southern Cerritos will continue to be able to call Long Beach for free as a result of a survey conducted by General Telephone Co.
After a GTE proposal to change calling boundaries prompted a public outcry, the company in September mailed 65,000 ballots to customers in those areas to determine whether they prefered free calling to Whittier and Pico Rivera or to the Long Beach area.
Under the GTE proposal, in one example of the situations that caused the outcry, residents in northwest Lakewood would have been charged a Zone Usage Measurement or ZUM charge to call their own city hall. ZUM allows customers in metropolitan areas to call outside their flat fee local calling areas for less than a long distance charge.
About 20,200 customers responded to the survey, with 82% in favor of staying with the Long Beach area exchange and 31% in favor of becoming part of the northern exchange, said GTE spokesman Dale Rycraft.