Telecom de-regulation bill clears the Florida House

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A bill deregulating land-line telephone services cleared the House overwhelmingly Wednesday, reports the News Service of Florida. The “Regulatory Reform Act” (HB 1231) passed on a 110-4 vote and now goes to the Senate. Supporters say the bill, which would make basic phone services exempt from Public Service Commission oversight, is an acknowledgement of the competition traditional carriers face from new technologies, like cell phones. “We have a rotary-phone regulation system in an iPhone world,” said Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, who sponsored the House version of the legislation. Consumer advocates and other opponents worry that the measure could push up prices, harming senior citizens and other Floridians who are uncomfortable with newer phones.

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