Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Lebanon to propose new phone rates

By Cindi Andrews candrews@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — City officials will present City Council with legislation tonightto set the monthly rate for Lebanon's pioneering local telephone service at $27.95.

        That will make residents' cost for the city-owned service $28.79 including tax, compared with $27.71 through long-time local provider Sprint. Businesses will pay $56.60 a month for basic service, compared with $53.27 for Sprint.

        Council will likely vote on the proposal April 23. The city has a waiting list of more than 900 customers and expects to start service in June, according to Telecommunications Director Jim Baldwin.

        Lebanon is the only city in Greater Cincinnati to have its own telecommunications system, which got off the ground with cable television three years ago and now offers high-speed Internet access as well. Officials hope the phone service — being done in partnership with Cincinnati Bell — will bring in enough money to start paying on the debt created by the $13 million system.

        It'll be good for residents, too, Councilman Norm Dreyer predicted.

        “Customers can now have all their telecommunications bundled into one bill — cable, Internet and phone,” he said.

        A package of digital cable TV, high-speed Internet and phone service will run residents $94.99 a month under the proposed fee structure, and all of that plus Cincinnati Bell's Complete Connections phone extras will total 109.99.

        Customers also will be able to get Cincinnati Bell wireless phone service and home and business security systems through the city.

        One of the city's main sell ing points is that it will have a wider local calling area than Sprint.

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