Ohio residents are pushing back against lawmakers trying to pass legislation that would allow telephone companies to end basic land line phone service in parts of the state, according to a new poll showing that nearly 75 percent of Ohioans are opposed to the measure.
According to the Columbus Dispatch
, the state Senate has already passed the bill, but the House is expected to vote on it after the election.
Charles Moses, president of the Ohio Telecom Association, which is backing the bill, said because of the massive amount of data traveling through networks, companies need to make bigger investments to keep up. He said dropping land line obligations would give phone companies more money to work with.
Moses said association members such as Verizon and AT&T already invest up to $1 billion a year in the state’s communications networks.
However, nine groups opposing the measure, including AARP Ohio, say the law could prevent people who rely on land line phones from getting affordable service.
“Basic local phone service is an unlimited flat-rate service,” said Michael Smalz, senior attorney with the Ohio Poverty Law Center, one of the groups opposed to the legislation. “Under the bill, alternative providers don’t have to provide unlimited flat-rate service.”
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