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PSC may expedite review of call areas


Maryland's Public Service Commission might expedite its review of calling areas proposed by Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. because one proposal -- to expand calling in the Solomon's Island area -- requires federal approvals.

At yesterday's conference to establish a schedule for C&P;'s rate reduction case, Chairman Frank Heintz said the commission "may want to consider" quickly the part involving expanded calling areas.

In its recently filed proposal, C&P; said it wants to expand the calling areas for several communities in rural Maryland.

Among those communities are Solomon's Island and Lexington Park.

Though close to each other, they are in different worlds as far as the phone company is concerned because they are in different "local access and transport areas," or "LATAs."

A LATA is a region of service.

Under a 1984 agreement, the Bell telephone companies can't provide service for calls that cut across LATAs.

That's the purview of the long-distance companies.

C&P; said it could take six months to get permission.

The commission set cross-examination for the rate case for July 7.

It is expected to decide Jan. 15.

Public hearings , which have yet to be scheduled, likely will begin this fall.

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