THUMBS UP: Dialing for Dollars

Physician's Money Digest, March15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 5

Tip:

The in-fighting in the telecomindustry is heating up, and a savvyconsumer can reap the benefits.Shopping around for the best rateshas never made more sense, especiallysince the Federal CommunicationsCommission is expected to issue a rulingthat will allow the so-called "BabyBells," which provide the bulk of thelocal phone service, to boost rents ontheir networks for competitors likeAT&T and Cox Communications,which primarily provide long-distanceand cable services. Until the rulingtakes effect, however, which couldtake years, there are still bargains tobe had. In some areas, as many as20% of local phone company subscribershave switched to cheaperplans offered by long-distance rivals.For heavy users, bundling local,long-distance, wireless, and highspeedInternet cable access may offerthe best deal.