In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
> By BRUCE MEYERSON, AP Business Writer
> Verizon Communications Inc. sharply cut its prices for unlimited
> telephone service across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday,
> including markets where Cablevision Inc. has just boosted broadband
> Internet speeds.
> The latest jockeying augurs an ever fiercer struggle ahead between the
> phone and cable TV industries, with consumers getting lower prices and
> advanced services.
> The new Verizon plans range from $35 to $40 for unlimited local and
> domestic long-distance plus call waiting, caller ID and voice mail, or
> from $30 to $35 for unlimited calling with no extra features. Taxes
> and surcharges typically add $10 to $20 to the monthly bill.
> Those rates are at least $15 cheaper than any of Verizon's existing
> packages with unlimited calling, although many of those plans include
> a larger selection of features and calls to Canada.
While they might be $15 cheaper they don't beat the $27 a month I pay
> The aggressive offers mark another tactical maneuver in the developing
> showdown between phone and cable companies. The two industries are
> increasingly venturing into one another's traditional markets in a bid
> to win new customers with a one-stop-shop for calling, Internet, TV
> and wireless services.
> Verizon and fellow regional phone provider SBC Communications Inc. are
> spending billions to replace their copper phone lines with fiber-optic
> cables that can deliver cable TV, far-speedier Internet connections
> and new multimedia and interactive services.
> Using those new lines, Verizon recently introduced TV in its first
> market, a suburb of Dallas, and now offers broadband download speeds
> from 5 to 30 megabits per second in 800 communities in 15 states.
> At the same time, Verizon is also competing aggressively on price with
> its slower DSL service, introducing a $15 a month plan last month, and
> now offering unlimited calling at rates almost competitive with the
> $20 to $30 a month charged by providers of voice over Internet phone
> SBC has made similar moves in cutting its phone and DSL rates in a bid
> to keep subscribers from leaving and to attract news ones while it
> prepares for next year's launch of TV and speedier broadband
> Cable companies, which have already lured away more than 5 million
> customers for their new phone services, are responding by boosting
> their broadband speeds and venturing into cellular service.
> Cablevision, which competes with Verizon in New York City and its
> suburbs, on Monday announced it was increasing the maximum download
> speed of its lowest-price broadband service to 15 megabits per second,
> up from a maximum of 10 -- which was already several times faster than
> most consumer DSL services. The company also introduced new 30 and 50
> Mbps options to compete with Verizon's new FiOS fiber optic offerings.
> And last week, four of the nation's biggest cable providers announced
> a deal with Sprint Nextel Corp. to introduce co-branded cell phone
> service by the middle of 2006.
> The lower-priced Verizon calling plans, first introduced last month at
> slightly higher rates in California, Texas and Florida, are being
> offered in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
> Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
> There's no timetable for when Verizon might introduce the new plans in
> its remaining local phone territories in North Carolina, South
> Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin,
> Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
> Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How odd ... so even SBC is in on this
> new pricing structure. I can recall when our local CLEC 'Prairie
> Stream Communications' first opened for business in 2002, they were
> offering flat rate, open-ended packages of _everything_ for $25.00
> per month, and SBC complained to the Kansas Commission that 'Prairie
> Stream is being predatory'; although the Commission left Prairie
> Stream alone on it, SBC continually complained that 'Prairie Stream
> will not stay in business very long at that pricing'. So now, Verizon
> and SBC are gradually lowering their prices as well. PAT]
Too little too late. They ILEC's are getting hit on all sides these
days. People are tired of paying too much for phone service.