AUGUSTA (AP) – All Verizon customers in Maine will have the same monthly phone rates regardless of where they live beginning in December.

The Public Utilities Commission this week approved a proposal by Verizon to replace its six rate groups – with six different monthly rates – with a single statewide rate.

As a result, phone bills for customers in small rural exchanges will increase by about $3 a month. Bills for customers in urban areas will stay roughly the same, with any savings expected to be offset by an additional charge for expanded local calling areas.

Under the new plan, calls from contiguous towns will all be local.

Calls made from neighboring towns are now long distance in some parts of the state.

AP-ES-10-03-03 1612EDT

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