Cox Nixes Okla. Stay Request

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Cox Communications Inc. this week withdrew a request to stay an order by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission deregulating SBC Communications Inc. after state officials demanded a $140 million bond to process the stay request.

The cable operator is still challenging the actions of state regulators in Oklahoma’s Supreme Court. Cox is joined in that challenge by the state chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons.

The OCC voted late in July to give SBC greater pricing flexibility in landline services. In exchange, SBC will roll out digital-subscriber-line services in 68 rural communities. But Cox, which is launching phone service in the state, argues there is currently insufficient competition to justify deregulation of SBC.

State attorney general Drew Edmondson recommended the bond demand. He estimated the OCC appeal process could take up to two years and estimated that SBC, the state and consumers would “sustain harm” worth $140 million.

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