Phone Company Restriction Overhaul Stalled in House Committee

Mar 8, 2013

Work in Frankfort to overhaul state restrictions on phone companies appears stalled.  The so-called “AT&T Bill” was the subject of a two hour hearing in a House committee Thursday.  Franklin County resident Van Arsdall is a mother of two children and says quick internet access is both costly and essential.

“But, if we hadn’t gone with the t-1 which A-T and T provides, it’s land line though, for six hundred dollars, they would never have been able to do the common form for entry into these big colleges, which every kid has to do now,” Arsdall said. “They would have never been there.”

Companies like AT&T say they can provide reliable internet access and cell phone service without traditional landlines.  Patrick Turner with AT&T says requiring them statewide is no longer necessary or realistic.

“I’ve heard it all before and I will tell you, it is going back to 1934,” he said. “There is no framework like that whatsoever in any of the southeastern states.”

Rural residents worry additional deregulation would leave them without adequate internet and phone service.  More than one lawmaker wanted assurances that every consumer would have affordable and reliable telecommunications.