Qwest seeks phones price cap lifted in Utah

Qwest wants to remove a cap on its basic residential phone service in Utah, but consumer groups are worried that the service costs will rise, given the lack of phone competition in the area.

A bill to allow the cap to be removed has moved out of committee and is moving on to a vote in the Utah Senate. The Utah House has already voted 73-0 in favor of the bill.

Consumer groups are worried pricing on the basic service - currently around $11 per month -- will become unaffordable to the elderly.  The Utah Representative sponsoring the bill notes that a "measured" service is available at $9.23 a month and provides unlimited incoming calls and 180 minutes of outgoing calls.

Qwest says consumers also have inexpensive wireless and VoIP options. More than 2 million Utah citizens have cell phone service, making the state's cell phone service market twice the size of the landline market.

For more:
- Deseret News gives a deep dive into Qwest appeal. Article.

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