AT&T rates skyrocket since deregulation Then-Commissioner Rachelle Chong, a Republican, credited as the driving force behind the deregulation plan, argued that growing competition from Internet phone service and cell phones would keep prices low. Too bad it didn't work out that way. Since fall 2006, AT&T's price for flat-rate landline phone service has leaped 115 percent, from $10.69 per month to $23, according to information from the commission. Californians have a variety of choices for telephone service including wireless and (Internet calling), but AT&T wireline service remains an affordable option with service available for less than a dollar a day - and for low-income consumers for as little a 12 cents a day. The Institute for Policy Innovation, a Texas free market think tank, went further in a news release after the vote: "Californians could be on their way to paying less for phone service as well as enjoying new services and better products." Remember how the partial deregulation of California's energy markets brought rolling blackouts, soaring wholesale prices and the market manipulations of Enron? Remember how the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act and other banking rules delivered credit default swaps, rampant mortgage fraud and the near collapse of the global economy? [...] history was on their side even then.