WisBusiness: TDS may appeal commission’s decision on rate increase

By Brian E. Clark

MADISON – TDS may appeal Tuesday’s ruling by the three-member Wisconsin Public Service
Commission allowing SBC to raise its wholesale rates by 13 to 20 percent.

The decision, which mirrors a Sept. 30 vote by the PSC, means wholesale prices for competitors
that lease the so-called “last mile” of wire to homes and businesses will increase by between
$1.50 and $2.

The effect on consumers is uncertain, with SBC contending that competition will hold rates
down and competitors such as TDS and AT&T charging that higher wholesale rates will increase prices and
perhaps put them out of business.

Drew Petersen, a spokesman for TDS, said officials at his company will review the PSC
decision in coming days.

“The devil will be in the details and we will need to review the final document to see if we
appeal,” he said.

SBC representatives also have criticized the rate increase as too low, but have not indicated
if they will seek to have it increased.

In a statement, PSC Chairwoman Burnie Bridge said she and fellow commissioners considered the
new rates “fair and balanced.”

A spokeswoman for the PSC said the written record of the decision will be published on its Web
site, perhaps as early as Wednesday.