Tuesday July 16, 2019

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Connecticut Telecom Law Debate Heats Up


Telecommunication-Antenna__36092 (Photo credit: Public Domain Photos)

A coalition of groups, including the AARP and Connecticut Citizen Action Group oppose a bill which proposes loosening Connecticut state oversight of telecom companies.  According to the Hartford Courant, the law will eliminate land line service to poor and rural areas and raise rates elsewhere.  Opposite the coalition, supporters of bill SB 447 say that the two decade-old telecom regulations make it hard to introduce new technologies that attract new business and keep existing companies in-state.

Coalition member, Lindsey Farrell, director of Connecticut Working Families, said to the Courant that, “telephone companies are responsible for providing universal land line service to rural and poor areas.  This bill would allow them to pick and choose their customers without any oversight from the state.  It’s a deregulation bill intended to give the telecommunications companies free rein.”

Conversely, AT&T spokesperson Chuck Course also told the Courant that, “There is not a single portion of the bill that would allow for, or cause, prices to increase, nor is there any provision that would permit AT&T to stop offering land line service.”

The bill, which was passed 20 to 1 by the legislature’s energy and tech committee on Mar. 28, could be voted on this week by the CT senate.

Hartford Courant