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Feb 18 2012

Phone companies want fewer consumer protections

What do you do when consumer protection regulations are interfering with profits? Well, if you’re as big as AT&T, you just buy yourself some new laws.

The industry is pushing Senate Bill 135, referred to as “the AT&T bill” by its sponsor and others because it originated with that company’s lobbyists. The bill would strip the Kentucky Public Service Commission of most of its remaining oversight of basic phone service provided by the three major carriers — AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell — such as the power to initiate investigations into service problems.

via Kentucky telephone companies pushing for option to end basic service | Politics and Government | Kentucky.com.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Michael Brew

    Gotta love a system that allows powerful corporations to take away the legal rights of individual citizens.

  2. 2
    Lori

    WTF, it’s so freaking exhausting having to constantly keep ensuring that my representative is representing me and my fellow citizens. Why can’t they just do their jobs without constant oversight. It’s like being the boss of a bunch of kids doing what they don’t want to do. I expect to have to keep myself apprised of what they’re up to, but this is ridiculous.

  3. 3
    David Bynum

    The PSC is the consumer’s friend. I suppose that if a giant telecom company had the greatest customer service department and were known for their landline improvements then it wouldn’t be a problem. It’s my opinion that the landline side of the business has been pillaged for buildout and greater profits on the cellular side. Landlines are lifelines still to most people and those folks don’t deserve to be forced into purchasing a product they don’t want yet! Kentucky, keep your PSC!

  4. 4
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    What completely floors me is that the new AT&T (SBC) is worse that the Ma Bell that regulators dismantled as a monopoly.

    Apparently, the only competition that opened up was for price gouging and poor service. And those optional service taxes that the telcos all chose to charge and not use for their legally mandated purpose.

  5. 5
    longstreet63

    IN a previous incarnation of a Bell system company (one subsequently eaten by the precursor of the one now known as ‘at&t’–lowercase, legally, to delineate from the original one) it became a job requirement to join their PAC. You didn’t have to give money. You had to sign up as supporting it, so that the company could show the legislators the numbers.
    The talk on this insidious tactic was given to us by a company lawyer and a company lobbyist. The lobbyist also had another job: He was a state representative.

    In a n effort to jolly us along, they lauded the previous year’s legislative efforts. These amounted to a removal of the ability of the satet regulatory commission to punish them for violating the law and a law preventing people from complaining about their violations of law.

    It was a mighty proud moment, yes, sir.

    As far as I can tell, the current incarnation isn’t quite doing this exactly, but then, it has many heads.
    On the whole, at&t as is is today appears to be trying to do good, but isn’t quite sure how, and with a tendency to mistake ‘good for at&t’ with ‘good’.

    For what an inside perspectiove is worth…

    (Opinions my own, not those of at&t, etc. No, thank you sir, I don’t want more porridge.)

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