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A New Phone Company In Town
GRAND RAPIDS — Sage Telecom is giving local phone companies a run for their money, and doing it all the way from Texas.
Sage Telecom, based just north of Dallas, has begun to provide telephone service to Grand Rapids’ residential and business customers.
The company’s entrance into the local service market stems from the 1996 Telecommunications Act and rulings from the Michigan Public Service Commission that have opened local telephone markets to competition.
Last month the communications company received certification from the Michigan Public Service Commission to provide local telephone service in the state of Michigan.
Certification by the MPSC is required under regulations governing the opening of local telephone markets to competition.
The certification process, which began in July 2001, included a review of Sage Telecom’s financial and technical capabilities by the Michigan PSC staff.
“The public utilities had very favorable rulings. They have been very easy to work with, they gave us the certifications and so we are heading on out there to try and save some people some money,” said Nancy Kennedy, company spokesperson for Sage Telecom.
And save people money is what they plan to do. With a residential plan called the “Home Choice Plan,” which runs $24.90 a month, the customer receives unlimited local calls, 100 minutes of free long distance, free call waiting, call forwarding and free caller ID.
A business customer can sign up for a plan that starts at $39.90 a month. For that, the customer also receives unlimited local calls, 100 minutes of free long distance and all the optional calling features the customer wants, including free multi-line hunting.
“We serve over 400,000 residential and small business customers, and we look forward to providing Michigan telephone customers with better value on all their telephone services,” said Dennis Houlihan, president and CEO of Sage Telecom.
“For several years now people have been able to choose their long distance carriers. Only recently have they had the opportunity to choose their local service provider. With Sage, about the only change Grand Rapids customers will notice is a lower telephone bill every month,” said Houlihan.
Operating in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, California and now Michigan, Sage Telecom prefers to keep its service in the more rural, smaller cities and works to stay competitive in those markets.
Sage is certified by the utility commissions in each state to provide local telephone service. Founded in 1996 by people with years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Sage has become one of the fastest growing telephone companies in the Southwest.