FCC, Phone Companies Agree to Changes in Phone Rates

Changes could result in much cheaper long-distance rates.
Author:
Publish date:

Updated from 2:37 p.m. EDT

The

Federal Communications Commission

and the largest telephone companies in the U.S., including

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

and

Sprint

(FON)

, have agreed to rewrite the rules that govern pricing in the telecommunications industry. The FCC announced the new rules Wednesday afternoon.

As a result, customers who rarely or never make long-distance calls could see their bills cut in half.

The rate reduction is the most serious in three years and plays into the government's attempt to deregulate the telephone market and encourage more competitive pricing.

The news was first

reported on

The New York Times on the Web

.