The Iowa Utilities Board has ordered the Iowa-Nebraska Phone Company to stop charging for local phone service. Utilities Board spokesman Rob Hillesland says the company isn’t licensed to do business in Iowa.Companies like Iowa-Nebraska that sell “local” phone service essentially contract with Qwest while trying to undercut Qwest’s prices for local phone service. Hillesland says Iowa-Nebraska, which ironically is based in Colorado, is affiliated with a Massachusetts-based called ServiSense which is selling off assets in bankruptcy court.Hillesland says ServiSense has sold its Iowa assets to a company called Eastern Telephone.A handful of Iowans are now getting their local phone service from the three companies, and state regulators have ordered Iowa-Nebraska, ServiSense and Eastern Telephone to quit charging those Iowans for its service.Hillesland says either the companies will get their paperwork in order, or the Utilities Board will help customers who signed up with one of the three companies switched to other local carriers.
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