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What Will Phone Competition Cost?

July 31, 1994

So the Public Utilities Commission is going to do it to us again (PUC Tentatively OKs Opening of Toll-Call Market," July 21). It blithely decrees that the local telephone companies can increase our basic rates by 35% in the case of Pacific Bell and 79% in the case of GTE. When was the last time any of us received an earnings increase of 35% or 79%?

This is done in the name of expanding competition. Every time some government entity talks about expanding competition, we the consumers take it in the neck--and, of course, in the wallet.

One would have thought that the PUC existed to represent the interests of California residents, the consumers of the products sold by a monopolistic industry. This clearly is not the case. There can be no doubt that the PUC exists to guarantee profits to the utilities industry. The effrontery of that commission is staggering.

ROBERT MARCHAND

Cathedral City

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