April 26, 1996 in Nation/World

Us West Withdraws Computer-Line Hike

From Staff And Wire Reports

US West Communications has again withdrawn a proposal to raise rates for high-speed computer lines.

In a statement Wednesday, the phone company said it removed the proposal in order to further study rates and costs.

The action came after Utilities and Transportation Commission staffers said the proposal would charge customers too much.

It is the second time US West has withdrawn a proposal for new charges for the computer lines, called integrated service digital network. ISDN lines can transmit large volumes of information more than five times faster than typical phone modems.

US West had originally suggested boosting the flat-rate cost of ISDN from $63 a month to $184. That triggered a flurry of opposition from Internet users.

The revised proposal was for 200 hours of use at $63 a month in urban areas and $84 a month in rural areas. The company also proposed charging $169 a month for unlimited use in urban areas and $189 in rural areas.

But state regulators said the rates were still too high and not supported by data. They suggested the phone company continue negotiating until the two sides can agree on rates.

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