Toll free phone service between Calhoun and Gilmer County has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Changes with the long-standing barrier will happen at a date to be announced, although the FCC gave approval on December 19.

The local LATA (Local Access and Transport Area) separated the two neighboring county's in 1984, after the break-up of the Bell System. Buck White, a Glenville businessman, led the effort to eliminate the tolls, and the Calhoun Commission was the first to pass a resolution endorsing the project.

State Delegate Brent Boggs said the change will mean a great savings to the region's business, including healthcare facilities which jointly serve the area. Boggs recalled testimony given in favor of removing the tolls by Minnie Hamilton Healthcare Center.

The FCC plans calls for four telephone exchanges to be affected, Glenville and Gassaway in Gilmer, served by Verizon; Grantsville and Arnoldsburg in Calhoun, served by Citizens Telecom. All exchanges will be able to call toll-free.

The removal of the tolls came to a stand still after a federal court law suit was filed by a third party.

Delegate Boggs said he expects to know the actual date of implementation.

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