NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has rejected BellSouth's request to increase bills for residential customers through a plan that would have bumped selected telephone exchanges into higher rate categories.
BellSouth sought to reclassify rate groups for residents of 56 growing cities in Tennessee, a move that would have raised bills for local service about 8 percent, according to filings with the Tennessee Regulatory Agency.
Consumer advocates in the state attorney general's office said the proposed reclassifications violated a state law that ties rate increases for basic telephone service to the national inflation rate. That formula would limit a rate increase to a 1.6 percent this year.
TRA Chairwoman Debi Tate agreed with the attorney general's conclusion.
In the future, BellSouth will be allowed to raise local residential rates of regrouped exchanges as long as the hikes don't exceed the previous year's national rate of inflation.