is set to substantially cut
the cost of residential ISDN services with a new series of
price packages modeled after online services.
A company spokeswoman would not confirm specific prices as reported today in
USA Today, but the Baby Bell is planning to submit
proposals to state utility commissions soon that would offer an unspecified
amount of free hours for a flat monthly fee, with per-minute
charges thereafter. The new prices will save customers anywhere between 15 percent
to 80 percent on their bills for ISDN, according to the Bell Atlantic spokeswoman.
Rate changes must be approved by the state utility commission before they
could take affect in states served by Bell Atlantic.
Any rate cut is welcomed by consumer advocates who complain that
artificially high rates are impeding the widespread use of Integrated Services Digital Network, which
provides data transmission rates about four times faster than the 28.8-kpbs modem speeds commonly used over regular phone lines.
"We would applaud any decrease in prices," said Mally Becker of the Ratepayer Advocate Division of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. "We don't see the point of offering
advanced telecommunications services and then pricing it to exclude so many
The Bell Atlantic price cuts follow last week's announcement that Pacific Bell has proposed an $8 monthly rate hike for its ISDN services.
ISDN supporters lodge complaint
Pac Bell wants flat-fee
hike for ISDN
Bell Atlantic gets into Net market
RealAudio coverage: CNET Radio