State regulators have voted to lift caps on how much SBC charges customers in 17 Wisconsin urban and suburban areas for local phone service.
The Public Service Commission order restricts how much SBC can increase those charges in each of the next two years before lifting the caps completely.
SBC says the government-imposed caps are no longer needed because there is sufficient competition from other phone companies to keep prices in check. The company says the current formula for the caps has resulted in a decrease in prices for much of the past decade.
But a citizens group says the order will just end up costing consumers more in the long run.
The decision does not impact SBC customers in rural areas.
The 17 areas that will be affected are Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Janesville, Kenosha, Madison, Manitowoc, Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee, Neenah-Menasha, Oshkosh, Racine, Sheboygan, Stevens Point and Waukesha