Utahns strongly favor more competitive involvement for the seven regional telephone companies that emerged from the 1983 court-ordered divestiture of AT&T.
The Utah sentiments were representative of the rest of the nation, based on survey results released by Kennan Research Inc., New York, a polling firm hired by the seven companies to survey national attitudes.Presently, the 1983 court order prohibits the companies from manufacturing telecommunications equipment, providing long-distance and most information services such as electronic yellow pages, data processing and transaction services.
The companies have been involved with efforts to have the consent decree altered and a ruling is expected later this year.
Telephone officials believe the poll results support their contention that many of the current restrictions should be lifted and that the companies should be given more opportunity to compete in all areas of telecommunications services.
Nationally, 79 percent of those contacted supported allowing the companies to compete in telecommunications equipment research, development and manufacturing. Utah support was 83 percent.
A comparable 78 percent supported allowing the companies to provide information services that could include everything from community information and health monitoring to home shopping. Utahns gave that idea 80 percent support.
Some 74 percent nationwide and 77 percent in Utah, favored lifting manufacturing restrictions that telephone officials say would improve U.S. high-tech competition.
The survey also found strong support, 74 percent nationally and 79 percent in Utah, for allowing the local telephone company to provide national long-distance service. Presently the companies are restricted from providing out-of-state long-distance service. The survey indicated that many Americans believe much of the confusion resulting from the deregulation of long-distance service could be eliminated if local companies could provide that service.
Some 58 percent of those polled indicated they would support Congressional intervention.
The poll involved 24,000 respondents who were contacted between November 1988 and January 1989. The survey has a margin of error of less than 1 percent.