Extended local calling area proposed for Landrum, Campobello
Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Windstream customers in Landrum and Campobello will have a chance soon to decide if they want to expand their local calling area to include Spartanburg exchanges.
Currently, calls from the Landrum and Campobello area to Spartanburg are long distance.
The S.C. Public Service Commission has ordered Windstream to survey Campobello and Landrum customers to see if they are willing to pay a higher base charge for a local calling area that includes the rest of the county.
If the expanded area is approved, a monthly fee of $3.90 would be added for all residential customers and a monthly fee of $7.81 would be added for all business customers.
A ballot will be provided to Windstream customers in their bills from September 10 through October 7. Customers will have until October 30 to place their votes through a toll-free number.
Bob Walker, former S.C. Rep. for District 38, which includes Landrum and Campobello, says Windstream previously proposed the expansion to customers in June of 2008. However, the proposal was in fine print on bills and was missed by many customers, he says.
Walker says he discussed the issue with the Public Service Commission, which agreed Windstream should repeat the process, but this time with a more visible ballot.
The state Office of Regulatory Staff determined the ballot &dquo;must be made conspicuous so that it is difficult for customers to ignore.&dquo;
Walker says he is not pushing for a particular outcome with the ballots, but wants area residents to have an opportunity to express their wishes.
&dquo;All this is is a survey that Windstream and the Public Service Commission are doing to see if there&squo;s interest. I just want people to have a say,&dquo; says Walker.
He adds that a few years ago Inman was added to the Landrum local calling area, but some residents have expressed interest in expanding the area further. Inman already has Spartanburg included in its local calling area, although the base charge for Inman residents is higher as a result, says Walker.
He adds that a few years ago he worked to get a local number that Landrum residents can use to call Spartanburg County offices. He says many people do not know they can call 457-3822 as a local call to reach the Spartanburg County government switchboard.
That helps residents avoid long distance chanrges for calls to county offices, but Walker notes that calls from the Landrum area to businesses and residences in the rest of the county remain long distance.