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Phone service boundary change to be discussed

Responding to several local complaints, the state Public Utilities Commission will examine whether to change a phone service boundary in the Big Oak Valley area.

Public hearings are set for Nov. 20 to examine whether to change the boundary between the Smartville phone and the Nevada County phone exchanges to coincide with the county line.

Straddling the line that separates Nevada and Yuba counties, the Big Oak area has some unhappy phone users.



Some people with 639 phone prefixes live in Nevada County, but are forced to pay long-distance charges for calls to nearby Nevada County communities.

“It makes you feel like you’re in no-man’s land out here,” said Pam Sargent, a Melody Road resident.




Sargent has a teen daughter – and the potential to run up big phone bills. She said the family’s phone bills can run $200 a month.

Cell phones aren’t much help because service plans that work in the area have limited day-time minutes, she said.

But not everybody is in favor of changing the phone service.

Marilyn Blaine of Big Oak Drive likes the phone service the way it is.

If her phone prefix is changed, it means changing the family stationery, preprinted checks, labels – and making the change known to everyone she and her husband know.

Nevada County filed a complaint with the PUC in June against Pacific Bell after Big Oak residents were unsuccessful in resolving their issues with the phone company.

County supervisors approved the county’s involvement in November 2001 at the request of Supervisor Elizabeth Martin.

The PUC expects to issue a decision by Feb. 23.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: State Public Utilities Commission hearings on 639 Smartville exchange

WHEN: 2 p.m. and

7 p.m., Nov. 20

WHERE: Penn Valley Fire Station, 10153 Spenceville Road


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