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E. Kyle Steinhauser
New member
Username: Ekyle

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

Has or will the city consider working with AT&T to improve our local phone service? It seems silly that Plano and McKinney are long distance. Ideally, we should be able to call all of Collin and Dallas counties toll free.
 

Jason Gray, Assistant City Manager
Moderator
Username: Jason

Post Number: 163
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 10:20 am:   

Kyle-

Thanks for the question.
The short answer is: yes, the City of Frisco (along with the Cities of Plano, The Colony, and Allen) has worked with AT&T (previously SBC) for the past 5 years on this issue trying to make it more reasonable for Frisco residents and businesses to call outside of a relatively limted area. While there have been a few small successes (the change from mandatory extended area call scope to optional) the problem still essentially exists. The regulation of call scopes sits at the Public Utility Commission of Texas and not at the local level, and we have petitioned them regarding this matter as well.

The longer answer is:
Years ago, the incumbent telephone companies originally set local calling areas based on their customers' calling patterns in a particular area. Each toll-free local calling area is made up of a number of small geographic areas called "exchanges.” An exchange is a geographical boundary served by a local exchange telephone company. For example, while the majority of City of Plano residents fall within the Verizon calling area, a portion of Plano residents fall within two exhanges in AT&T (formerly SBC): the “Frisco Exchange”, and the Allen Exchange.

Within a toll-free local calling area, customers may call more exchanges other than their own exchange toll-free--without incurring an additional long distance fee for the call. For exchanges outside of the original local calling area, customers are charged an additional fee for each call to those exchanges, unless the customer has signed up for an option along-distance calling plan that covers those areas.

Since the phone companies are responsible for creating the original toll-free local calling areas, it had been the phone companies’ choice, with PUC approval, as to whether those toll-free local calling areas would expand or whether extended area service would be provided for exchanges falling outside the toll-free local calling area.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Thanks-

Jason Gray
Assistant City Manager
 

Brian C
New member
Username: Brianc

Post Number: 77
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   

I know this has been discussed many times. We are close to 100k people now. If a petition was to be circulated, who should it be directed to, the PUC or ATT? Can either actually accept the change and force it upon the other?
 

Jason Gray, Assistant City Manager
Moderator
Username: Jason

Post Number: 164
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - 11:29 pm:   

Brian-

The Expanded Area Call Scope is no longer mandatory. Any AT&T customer can now opt out of the Expanded Area Call Scope, but will then incur a charge to call outside of the area.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Thanks-

Jason Gray
Assistant City Manager

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