Just thought I’d point you to a great piece over at The Consumerist. If you don’t read it ever/often, you can check out their feed to your right. The piece in question includes these fun facts about the increased competition in the California telecommunications market since price restrictions were lifted in 2006:

Here are just a few of the ways competition has benefited consumers:

* AT&T no longer lets you make five free 411 calls per month. Now it costs $1.50 for local numbers and $1.99 for all others.
* Verizon won’t let you make four free 411 inquiries anymore. Now they charge $0.95 for local listings and $1.50 for all others.
* AT&T boosted the price of daytime calls by 34%, evening calls by 93%, and nights and weekend calls by 233%
* Call waiting is now 86% more expensive.
* Keeping your name out of the phonebook now costs 346% more.
The Consumerist

The myth of the free market is sadly quite strong. Consider this post the first salvo in my effort to eviscerate that myth.