Ohio: Verizon gets greenlight for phone price hikes

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has granted Verizon pricing flexibility in 21 Ohio exchanges. Under the provision, Verizon can increase basic phone service rates by up to $1.25 annually and caller ID rates by up to 50 cents.

However in order to raise rates, the company must demonstrate an exchange is open to competition and customers have service alternatives. Verizon had requested the ability to raise rates in a total of 24 exchanges, but was denied in three by the utilities commission.

The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel opposed the most recent request from Verizon, saying the company didn't show evidence of competition in all but two exchanges, while arguing that customers have a right to basic, low-cost service without "bells and whistles."

For more:
- Business First of Columbia. Article

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