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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 21:52 GMT 22:52 UK
US telecoms firm to cut 11,000 jobs
Telephone keypad
The US telecoms provider SBC Communications has said it is to cut 11,000 jobs, about 6% of its workforce, and reduce spending on equipment.

The downturn in the US economy has hit business and SBC also sharply criticised the regulatory regime in which it has to operate.

About 9,000 of the 11,000 jobs are to be shed over the final three months of this year, with the rest due to go in early 2003.

SBC, which is the main telecoms provider in the mid and south-west of the US, also said it would cut capital spending next year to between $5bn-$6bn (3.2bn-3.9bn) from $8bn this year.

The company, along with other local telephone firms, has been hit by a shift away from land lines towards mobile phones and e-mail.

It has already cut 10,000 jobs during the year to August.

Regulators criticised

SBC's chairman and chief executive, Edward Whitacre, criticised the pricing regime being imposed on the company.

SBC, and other local US phone companies, say they are forced to give rivals access to their networks at prices which are lower than the cost of providing the service.

They claim that the competitors can then target the most lucrative customers.

"Under this pricing scheme, a century of regulatory policy has been turned on its head," said Mr Whitacre.

"Instead of subsidizing prices for average consumers, we now subsidize competitors who in turn siphon revenues out of the market."

See also:

25 Sep 02 | Business
23 Sep 02 | Business
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