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Phone facts

May 18, 2008

Re "Numbers game," editorial, May 12

Your editorial regarding SB 1423 and unlisted telephone numbers left out some key facts. For decades, telecommunications carriers have been required to publish phone numbers in a directory as part of providing basic telephone service. We do so at no cost to our customers. This requirement is based on state and federal policies to promote the widest possible access to the telephone network. The comparison to wireless service is not meaningful because wireless networks developed under different regulatory regimes.

We do strongly agree with your editorial on one point: Lawmakers should be wary of giving the government the power to set prices.

The California Public Utilities Commission can fully review directory listings on behalf of consumers. That's the right place for this debate to take place.

Ken McNeely

President, AT&T California

San Francisco

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