Hall says House panel will consider land line deregulation bill Thursday

March 06, 2013 | | Comments 2
State Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps

State Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps

By Beth Musgrave

FRANKFORT — A controversial telephone deregulation bill will be heard in a House committee on Thursday.

Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, chairman of the Tourism Development and Energy Committee, said Tuesday that Senate Bill 88 will get a hearing Thursday morning. The bill, being pushed by AT&T, would allow telephone companies to drop land-line services if there were comparable telephone services — such as cellular service — in an area. Areas with less than 5,000 landlines would be exempt.

Opponents of the bill have said it could would weaken oversight and erode the quality of telephone service in Kentucky.

Proponents of SB 88, sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, have said the measure is key to increasing the state’s access to high-speed Internet. Bill supporters have stressed that it would not spell the end of land-line phone service in Kentucky.

The bill passed the Senate last month. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, has repeatedly said he has problems with the bill.

Hall said earlier this week that he has not yet decided if the committee will vote on SB 88. Hall said he would like to hear more specifics from AT&T on how much money the company was going to invest in high-speed Internet and if that investment would create more jobs in Kentucky.

Filed Under: KY General AssemblyState Government

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  1. Ray Peden says:

    What do they plan to tell the folks that will be left with sketchy or no phone service, and there will be thousands. Wireless connections in the hills of Ky are often severely limited. Will those legislators who vote for this bill agree to let their own service be similarly limited?

  2. Susan Feher says:

    I don’t think there has been enough written about this House
    Bill particularly in the areas that it greatly affects. It is reported poorly in Harlan County believing what Sen. Hornback states. Why would you believe what he says? He probably has never been to the area and therefore does not know how many areas can not even pick up an AT&T cell phone signal. My parents for one who are elderly and have heart problems will now no longer be able to call EMS if they become seriously ill.