The letter from a Pacific Bell executive that claimed Californians have a choice for local phone service ("PacBell Is Playing Fair in Phone Competition," Letters, June 29) was way out of touch with reality.
If true competition was at work, Californians would be able to contact companies other than PacBell, compare rates and easily switch services, if they chose.
Right now, none of that can happen because PacBell retains a virtual monopoly stranglehold on its captive customers. Where other companies have tried to offer local service, PacBell has not fully cooperated--frustrating customer efforts to change companies and refusing to make the technical changes needed to facilitate competition.
Far from "thriving," as PacBell asserts, competition for local phone service is virtually nonexistent. It is up to state regulators and consumer advocates to continue the effort to pry open the PacBell monopoly and deliver lower rates and better service to customers.
If the current state of the market is PacBell's idea of effective competition, then we have a long way to go.