Aurora Goes Commercial

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Denver -- AT&T Broadband & Internet Services willextend its telephony trial in Aurora, Colo., to include a limited number of payingcustomers beginning today (Nov. 1).

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved tariffsthat will set up a showdown in Aurora between AT&T Broadband and U S West, the state'sdominant local-exchange carrier.

"There are 35 competitive local-exchange carriersauthorized to offer local service statewide," PUC spokesman Terry Bote said,"but their focus has been the business market. We need to see some progress made inthe residential market."

Not surprisingly, the controlled rollout will coincide witha vote here tomorrow, where residents are being asked to approve AT&T Broadband's newfranchise.

Initially, AT&T Broadband's service will be offeredonly to select customers in Aurora where the upgraded plant is two-way-capable, spokesmanMatt Fleury said, adding that a full-blown rollout of local service is expected early nextyear.

AT&T will sell single-line local phone service for$14.50 per month, compared with U S West's price of $14.91. Customers will get a break onadditional lines, with up to three more selling for $9 each per month.

The company will also offer single-line packages featuringthree- and five-hour blocks of long-distance service for $44.75 and $53.75, respectively.