OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State regulators decided Thursday that SBC Communications, Oklahoma's largest telephone service provider, should be exempt from most price controls.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved the deregulation by a 2-1 vote.
SBC officials said the move will allow it to increase investments in technology and improve its services.
Critics said the deregulation will eventually lead to higher prices for telephone service.
Commissioner Bob Anthony voted against the plan, saying he doesn't believe there is enough competition for phone services in Oklahoma to make deregulation appropriate.
He also said he does not believe the order follows commission rules and would be overturned if challenged in court.
Commissioners Denise Bode and Jeff Cloud voted for the deregulation.