La. PSC considers crafting statewide phone service standards

Even though many Northern Louisiana consumers aren't happy with AT&T's phone service, the state's Public Service Commission (PSC) voted 3-2 to not punish Ma Bell with a $175,000 fine.

Instead, the commission is considering a mandate that all telephone companies that operate in Louisiana should be held to the same service standards it requires AT&T to meet. The PSC set these phone service benchmarks as one of the provisions AT&T had to meet in order to gain approval for its acquisition of the former BellSouth. However, these standards only apply to standard phone service and not broadband Internet or wireless service, which the state has no authority over.  

In 2009, the Louisiana PSC opted to not levy the fine on AT&T--one that's meant to ensure AT&T improves the service quality of its POTS service--so it could examine whether other phone companies should be held to the same quality standards for timely installation appointments, length of service delays and how many issues can be resolved within a 24-hour period.   

PSC members remain divided on the phone standards issue. Some commissioners said they were inundated with consumer calls about AT&T's poor service response times, while others said they got more complaints about AT&T's competitors and that phone standards should be "uniform across the state."

For more:
- Forbes via AP has this article

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