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MOST PAY PHONES TO STAY AT 25 IN NEW YORK STATE

New York's dominant telephone company is bound by an agreement with the state to charge no more than 25 cents for a local, three-minute pay phone call through 2002, state utility regulators said Tuesday.

A Federal Communications Commission order that deregulates pay phone rates across the country will not affect the agreement the state made in 1995 with Nynex, according to the state Public Service Commission.

That seven-year deal froze some Nynex charges, such as for pay phones, and rolled back others. In return, the company was authorized to begin offering long-distance service nationwide and to develop other business ventures.

Nynex become Bell Atlantic under a merger earlier this year. But Bell Atlantic is bound to stand by the terms of the deal New York state made with Nynex in 1995.

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