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The State

A bill that would have freed consumers from paying part of the approximately $1.5 billion that local phone companies charge long-distance phone firms for using local equipment was defeated in the Assembly. The measure would have prohibited the Public Utilities Commission from allowing local phone firms to shift onto residential customers’ bills about one-third of the $1.5 billion in “access charges” that long distance firms pay to use the local companies’ equipment. That prohibition, which dealt only with access charges for long distance calls, would have lasted until Jan. 1, 1988.


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