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AARP ASKS PSC FOR 'POTS' AND 'PANS' FROM SOUTHERN BELL

 FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) wants "Plain Old Telephone Service" (POTS) from a "Practical, Affordable, Necessary, System" (PANS) and asks the Florida Public Service Commission to require Southern Bell to deliver.
 Abe Asofsky of Coconut Creek, Fla., a member of AARP State Legislative Committee, called for the PSC to meet their responsibility to Florida's citizens when they consider Southern Bell's request for increased rates and expanded services.
 AARP finds Southern Bell's request to institute "Local Measured Service" (LMS) to be especially onerous because of the financial burden it places on users who depend on the telephone for personal and social support. LMS simply means that local telephone calls would be billed by the minute in the same way that long distance service is billed. "Southern Bell has a history of over-charging consumers and their desire for inflated profits at rate-payers' expense should be denied," said Asofsky.
 AARP members also object to rate-payers funding development of over- priced, high-tech information and entertainment services. "If Southern Bell wishes to enter those markets, they should do so with the backing and investment of their shareholders -- not their customers."
 AARP questions Southern Bell's arrangements with its subsidiary businesses and the charges it pays for their goods and services. "We think that is an unhealthy, uncompetitive environment which allows inflated costs of doing business to be billed to rate-payers," spoke Asofsky. "We hope the commissioners will think of consumers when they hear the Southern Bell Case. We don't expect them to live in the past but we do want to get back to the basics for which the utility exists -- 'POTS' and 'PANS'."
 The Public Service Commission is conducting a hearing at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday evening, Feb. 24, at the John Leonard Community High School, 4701 10th Ave. N., Lake Worth, Fla. Local AARP members and Bell customers are invited to comment.
 AARP is the nation's leading organization for people age 50 and over. It serves their needs and interests through legislative advocacy, research, information programs and community services provided by a network of local chapters and experienced volunteers throughout the country. The organization also offers members a wide range of special membership benefits including Modern Maturity magazine and the monthly Bulletin. There are more than 2.3 million AARP members and 235 chapters in Florida.
 -0- 2/22/93
 /CONTACT: Abe Asofsky, 305-973-3096, or Jim Edens, 813-576-1155, both of The American Association of Retired Persons/


CO: The American Association of Retired Persons ST: Florida IN: SU:

RA-BR -- AT020 -- 0013 02/22/93 12:46 PST
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Date:Feb 22, 1993
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