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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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Ohio House Supports Telecommunications Reform Bill
Legislation levels the regulatory playing field
Columbus—State Representative Peter Beck (R-Mason) last week announced the passage of House Bill 276 from the Ohio House of Representatives. This legislation revises the state policy regarding telecommunications service and repeals current law governing alternative regulation of telephone companies.
House Bill 276 will create a more favorable environment for competition in telecommunications, while retaining consumer safeguards and lead toward competitive pricing. It will help establish uniform regulations for telecommunication services and permit the industry to invest in Ohio’s infrastructure and technology, instead of overly burdensome regulatory compliance.
“Communication technology has no doubt changed over the years and by passing this legislation, the General Assembly has allowed for competition in the communications industry,” Rep. Beck said. “Like with many pieces of legislation, compromises must be met between interested parties and I believe that with this bill, consumers and companies will benefit from the modernization of the way Ohio regulates incumbent telephone companies.”
Since 2001, traditional landline telephone companies have lost 3 million customers due to increased competition from rapidly advancing technologies, including wireless and digital telephone service. More than 20 states have adopted telecom reform laws, which will spur investment in new technologies and create vital jobs.
House Bill 276 is supported by the Ohio Chamber, National Federation of Independent Business, Ohio Telecommunications Association, AT&T, and Institute for Policy Innovation.