Thursday, May 23, 2002

Lebanon opens its own city phone service

By Cindi Andrews,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The city launched telephone service Wednesday, becoming the first in the Tristate and one of just a handful nationwide to compete with its local phone provider.

        “This has been a long time in coming ... this is a great day for the city of Lebanon,” Mayor Amy Brewer said in a ceremonial first phone call to a Cincinnati Bell executive.

        The phone service is a key piece of Lebanon's $13 million telecommunications system, which also offers cable television and high-speed Internet services.

        A dozen test homes have used the phone service for the past three weeks, Telecommunications Director Jim Baldwin said, and beginning Tuesday, anyone in the city can sign up for it.

        The city, which brought in Cincinnati Bell to provide the dial tone over Lebanon-owned lines, already has a waiting list of 1,200 people who want the service, Mr. Baldwin said.

        It's too soon to say if it will hurt local provider Sprint financially, company spokeswoman Kathy Piech said.

        “Sprint welcomes the competition,” she said. “...It helps customers get the best service.”

        Lebanon built its telecommunications system in the late 1990s largely because calls to Cincinnati, Dayton and even other areas of Warren County were long-distance.


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