Commission reviews 3rd Annual Report on Partial Deregulation of BLES

by preferred on November 20, 2008

On November 25, 2005, the Commission issued a final decision that granted, with conditions, the petition of Wisconsin Bell, Inc., d/b/a AT&T Wisconsin (AT&T), (Wisconsin Bell, Inc., was then doing business as SBC Wisconsin) for suspension of Wis. Stat. § 196.196(1) with regard to basic local exchange service (BLES). The Commission found that substitutable services provided by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) and other providers, including wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services; AT&T’s declining market share; and the ability for other providers to enter the market created a sufficiently competitive market to justify the suspension of Wis. Stat. § 196.196(1). The Commission also found that although the market was currently effectively competitive, there were uncertainties about the sustainability of such competition. Consequently, the suspension of regulation was made subject to conditions. The conditioned suspension allowed AT&T to increase the monthly BLES residential charge in the 17 exchanges in Rate Groups A and B, by no more than $2.50 per year for the next two 12-month periods beginning December 1, 2005. Beginning in December 2007, AT&T was allowed to increase the charges for stand-alone BLES by any amount. AT&T is required to maintain uniform rates within each rate group. Also because of the uncertainty of the sustainability of competition, AT&T was required to submit data to enable Commission staff to prepare annual reports on competitive conditions and the impacts of partial deregulation on BLES customers.

The Commission decided that the partial deregulation for Basic Local Exchange Service, authorized in its November 25, 2005 final decision in docket 6720-TI-196, should be subject to further monitoring.

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