AT&T increases Illinois POTS subscriber rates by 27-63 percent

AT&T's Chicago wireline voice customers will soon be in for an unwelcome surprise as Ma Bell plans to up the rates of basic telephone service by 27-63 percent.

On Jan. 3, the telco increased the basic monthly line home phone service charge by $3 in each of the Chicago's region's three "access areas." Chicago Loop customers saw the biggest increase of 63 percent to $7.76 a month. Meanwhile, customers living in Chicago's suburbs saw phone rates increase 39 percent to $10.74 a month, while customers in the outer suburbs will now have to pay $14.21 a month, a 27 percent increase.

Of course, AT&T said the reason for the rate increase is due to the dwindling base of traditional wireline voice customers.

But if you're an Illinois customer that does not want to pay the increased rates, you have some options.

As the result of a legal settlement AT&T reached with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board (CUB), the telco offers customers a Consumer Choice plan that can cut POTS (plain old telephone service) costs by 45 percent. And if you don't like the Consumer Choice option or dealing with AT&T wireline, you can always turn to the cable operator, VoIP or wireless for your voice service.   

For more:
- Broadband DSL Reports has this post
- see the Illinois Citizens Utility Board (CUB) news release

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