Phone Deregulation Debate

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

People like to complain about the weather—and the phone company.

Except today, it’s not the phone company, it’s the cellular conglomerate that controls what device you own or lease to make and receive calls. It’s also about what service you have a contract with or use because there is no other one offered. In some parts of Kentucky, your choices are limited.

Sometimes, like the weather, you can’t do a lot about it — except complain.

There was a lot of that on “Kentucky Tonight” Monday night. Proponents of Senate Bill 88, backed by AT&T, say the simple message behind the bill is an advanced, broadband communication technology essential for Kentucky’s future. (Note: the Senate passed the bill; vote was Feb. 14)

Opponents argue that the legislation could allow telephone companies to abandon land lines in rural areas where there aren’t many customers.

That was at the heart of the discussion Monday night between AT&T Attorney Patrick Turner and Tom Fitzgerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council.

During the discussion, Turner said it was about phone company competition, which would require AT&T to maintain a robust network of phone service throughout the state; Fitzgerald disagreed and said that the consumers would be left with only three options if the bill passes and is signed into law.

The bill now moves to the state House of Representatives where it could possibly receive more discussion and a possible floor vote.

Watch the entire debate on Kentucky Tonight at on our website, www.ket.org

One Response to “Phone Deregulation Debate”

  1. Teresa Barker says:

    This argument of deregulation is frightening that it is even an issue; there is no doubt that the comments of ‘two networks inhibiting investment in KY and other states’ means the landlines will go, period! There isn’t anything else that could possibly mean. There will be no guaranteed phone service to consumers that can be relied upon. Landline phone service is crutial to the needs of households…when cellphone households do not have service they turn to their landline neighbors.

    In Eastern Kentucky, in the entire state of West Virginia, and in Southern Ohio we have all experienced firsthand weather-related outages and the only means of getting our services working has been through the Public Service Commission’s USING A LANDLINE TO COMMUNICATE WHEN THE ELECTRICAL SERVICE WAS DOWN FOR DAYS ON END and the CELLPHONES WERE NOT WORKING!

    Keep in mind, when the duratio storm hit in June and half-million people were without electricity for WEEKS the CELL PHONES WERE NOT WORKING ONLY THE LAND LINES! IMAGINE BEING WITHOUT ELECTRIC AND PHONE. TECHNOLOGY IS NOT AT A 100% RELIABLE LEVEL TO EVEN BE THINKING ABOUT THIS POINT. I don’t know anyone that has cellphone service or internet service that works with the same regularity standard of the landline service.

    Moreover, not only SENIORS BUT US BABY BOOMERS OF 1964 RELY ON OUR LANDLINE AND NOT ALL OF US WILL EVER HAVE AN IPAD; A CELLPHONE IS USED FOR ROAD EMERGENCIES NOT FOR EVERYDAY PHONE CONVERSATION. AT&T AND THOSE ADVOCATES OF BIG BUSINESS ARE COMPLETELY IGNORING THE BOOMERS, THAT WE’RE ALL APPROACHING RETIREMENT AND THE NEED FOR TECHNOLOGY WILL DWINDLE FOR THE LARGEST SECTOR OF THE POPULATION ONCE THEY ARE NO LONGER IN THE WORKFORCE. My friends and I don’t email regularly, we phone each other…it’s easier, it’s what we know.

    IN THE MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS CELLPHONE SERVICE IS DIFFICULT AND UNRELIABLE WITH STATIC. WITHIN 30 MILES OF ASHLAND, KENTUCKY, THERE IS NO INTERNET SERVICE AT ALL. 25 MILES FROM ASHLAND IN NEIGHBORING WEST VIRGINIA, 15 MILES OUTSIDE OF THE STATE’S SECOND LARGEST CITY (HUNTINGTON) THERE IS NO INTERNET SERVICE…THAT IS THE LEVEL OF SERVICE THE COMPETITION IS OFFERING AND VERIZON AND NOW FRONTIER SERVICES WV. AGAIN, THIS REGION IS 25 MILES FROM ASHLAND.

    LASTLY, THESE INVESTMENTS AT&T KEEPS INDICATING KENTUCKY IS MISSING OUT ON, THOSE INVESTMENTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED AS HE DEFIANTLY STATED, ” ALL THESE OTHER UPGRADED STATES ARE IN LINE AND IN THE COMPETITION FOR THESE INVESTMENT DOLLARS THAT LEAD TO JOBS AND KENTUCKY IS MISSING OUT ON THAT.”

    PLEASE PROTECT KENTUCKY AND SEND A MESSAGE TO OUR NEIGHBORING STATES THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVE AND NOT BENEFITS TO BIG BUSINESS…OBVIOUSLY, BUSINESS WILL ALWAYS WALK THE PATH TO SAVE COMPANY MONEY AND PAD THE WALLETS OF THE EXECUTIVES AND OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT STAND UP FOR THEM, SUCH AS, THE REPRESENTATIVE AT THE TABLE REPRESENTING THE DIGITIAL AGE.

    City/County: Ashland


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