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MONOPOLIES DO HAVE OBLIGATIONS

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Last year, articles were published about US WEST's inability to provide phone service for several months to Cedar Hills and other Utah County communities. US WEST responded that they were doing all they could and were taking steps to ensure better response to future growth.

Apparently, nothing has been done, as I am facing the same problem a year later.Our subdivision in Lindon was recorded by Utah County in August 1992. Most of the lots were sold in December 1992 and January 1993. We started construction in April 1993, and I called US WEST to order service in May. At that time I was told there would be no problem providing service for my home by July.

Last week, I called to complete the phone order and was told US WEST would not be able to provide service until Sept. 30 at the earliest. They acknowledged that they knew this when I placed my order in May and apologized for not informing me then, but would do nothing to speed up the order.

In my family's case, it is not only inconvenient to be without a phone for 21/2 months, it could be life-threatening. My wife is a severe asthmatic, and we have had to call the doctor and rush her to the hospital in the middle of the night many times in the past few years. If she had a bad asthma attack while home alone, she would be lucky to get to the door, let alone walk 100 yards to the nearest neighbor to use a phone.

When I tried to tell US WEST this, their response was, "Rent a cellular phone." Aside from the cost (a minimum of $100 for 11/2 hours' use a month), it was interesting to note that US WEST Cellular would not even rent me a phone - I would have to buy one.

When my wife called US WEST to explain her situation, she was told, "We would like to provide you service, but we are not obligated to do so."

As long as our government grants monopolies to utilities such as US WEST, they have both an obligation and a mandate to provide service in a timely fashion.

If they don't understand that, let's not grant the monopoly. If they truly don't have enough resources, let's look more closely at how the company is managed and ensure that revenues collected by this monopoly are used for what they are intended - to provide adequate service.

Todd Millett

Lindon