Verizon Communications has to reveal more specifically how much it wants to raise its basic telephone rates, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission ruled Wednesday.
The company, which provides telephone service to Snohomish County, Camano Island and surrounding areas, is looking to raise its rates in two ways.
First, Verizon is asking the state utilities commission to allow an “interim” rate increase, under which residential customers and business customers would pay at least $3.54 more a month for phone service.
On top of that, Verizon has asked for a longer-term review of its overall rates. The company says it needs to increase its revenues in Washington state by up to 70 percent, or $240 million, annually.
That would mean a potentially huge increase in telephone rates, but Verizon did not outline how much they would go up under that second rate request.
Instead, Verizon asked the state commission to decide how much the company is entitled to raise its revenues. Then, the telecommunications company would design a rate structure to fit that ruling.
That proposal to stray from the usual process was rejected in Wednesday’s decision. While commending Verizon for its creativity in its proposal, the commission decided varying from the usual process was not in the public interest.
“While that didn’t work out the way we hoped it would, we know now where the commission is on this, and we will proceed,” said Kevin Laverty, a Verizon spokesman in Everett.
Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.