A groundbreaking study released today by TURN, proves that telephone service deregulation in California is a disaster, an phone company competition a myth.
For Immediate Release From The Utility Reform Network
The Utility Reform Network also has uncovered a previously unreleased study of telephone competition prepared by the Staff of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that reached similar conclusions. Both studies confirm the on-the-ground experiences of consumers, which are higher prices and few, if any, choices.
"The CPUC’s original prediction that market competition would protect consumers has not, unfortunately, been born out," said TURN executive director Mark Toney. "In fact, Californians are giving a bigger piece of their paychecks to AT&T and Verizon every day." TURN believes responsible regulation of the industry is necessary to the continuation of affordable, universal phone access in California," Toney said. "Despite the CPUC’s belief that wireless and wireline are interchangeable, the vast majority of Californians continue to rely on landlines, and they are being gouged."
Before obtaining access to the unreleased CPUC report, TURN had commissioned noted economist Trevor Roycroft to assess competition in California. The TURN/Roycroft study, the first of its kind, comprehensively studies local phone markets and includes detailed maps of landline options in 9 California counties. The study concludes that the lack of options available to most consumers has enabled AT&T and Verizon to raise prices dramatically. Dr. Roycroft’s findings confirm those of the CPUC. The CPUC’s staff market concluded that market concentration, a strong indicator of the viability of competition, is increasing rather than decreasing in the phone market.
"TURN has been urging the CPUC to analyze market conditions, and it turns out they have. They just kept what they’d found out quiet," Toney said. "If price caps are not put in place consumers will continue to suffer. TURN’s study, as well as the CPUC’s own findings, give the Legislature the ammunition it needs to demand action from the CPUC"
To read the full report, click below
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