July 21, 2005

Local Telephone Rates To Go Up In August

Long distance means one of two things, a large area between two points, or higher telephone rates. Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone is making a policy change next month that will change both those definitions.

Effective August 1, calls made between any of the 14 calling areas served by the phone company will no longer be long distance. That means callers in Arbela (945), Brock (328), Green City (874), Luray (866), Lemons (344), Martinstown (355), Memphis (465), Novinger (488), Omaha (933), Pollock (692), Queen City (766), Tobin Creek (883), Unionville (947), and Winigan (857)) will no longer have to dial 1+the area code when calling any of the other 13 areas.

ďThis change allows all subscribers to have the same local calling area, consisting of over 8,000 access lines,Ē the company stated.

Currently there are some customers that have access to fewer than 200 other lines without incurring long distance charges.

ďIt will also minimize some of the on-going boundary problems and complaints received as a result of subscribers incurring long distance charges to call their neighbors or friends just down the road or in a nearby exchange,Ē the company stated.

To offset the loss in revenue, the companyís board of directorís recently approved rate increases for both residential and business customers. The residential rate will increase from the $6.50 to $7.15 range to $10. Business accounts will rise from between $11.00 and $14.90 to $15.

ďWe realize that this change will be enthusiastically received by some and scorned by others,Ē the board said. ďAs with all changes of this type, there will be winners and losers, depending on your calling habits.Ē

The board indicated the change was made to insure more equitable service for all subscribers and to better position the company for the future.

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