Proposed legislation could kill regulation of landline and wireless phone services
Look out! A State Senate committee just voted unanimously for Senate Bill 1161, which, if passed, will effectively gut regulatory oversight over landline and cell phone services.
The bill, authored by Alex Padilla, could also jeopardize landline phone service and telecommunications programs that aid low-income and hearing-disabled persons.
In a letter dated April 6, 2012, UCAN urged Senator Padilla to dump the proposed legislation on the grounds that it eliminates regulation of phone companies, threatens the reliability of phone services, exposes Californians to unauthorized or fraudulent charges, and will hamper the ability of ratepayers to reach 911 services in the event of an emergency.
Calling it "ill-conceived," UCAN opposes the bill's provisions because it eliminates oversight of landline and wireless services by stripping the regulatory authority away from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to protect consumers from unscrupulous phone companies. It could also jeopardize subsidies for low-income persons and programs that provide special equipment to persons with hearing impairments.
Padilla, a Democrat, chairs the Senate Energy Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, which voted unanimously in support of SB 1161. Padilla, has received significant campaign contributions from AT&T and other telecom interests.
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