June 01, 2004
The Consumer Price Index for telephone services decreased 2.7 percent in 2003, following a 0.2-percent increase in 2002.
A rise in local charges was offset by decreases in interstate and intrastate toll calls, and in wireless (cellular) telephone services.
Local telephone charges rose 2.6 percent in 2003. Interstate long distance telephone call charges decreased 10.9 percent. Intrastate long distance charges decreased 9.4 percent. Cellular telephone service charges decreased 1.3 percent last year.
Long-distance telephone companies faced continued competition. In recent years, long-distance providers increasingly have incurred losses as customers shifted from making long distance calls by traditional (wire) telephones to making them by wireless telephone.
These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. Information on other consumer prices appears in "Consumer prices during 2003," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, April 2004. Percent changes are for 12 months ended in December.