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Dormant Landlines In Rural Areas May Not Be Able To Reactivate Landline Service Under SB 99 Posted: March 13, 2014
Dormant Landlines In Rural Areas May Not Be Able To Reactivate Landline Service
In the March 13, 2014 House Economic Development Committee Meeting regarding the AT&T Bill (Senate Bill 99), Representative Stone asked, just before the committee vote, whether, if someone “moves back into my mother’s home…would they be able… to get a landline again?”
The AT&T Representative responded that “in that situation where the facilities exist today, somebody moving in there would have a right to basic local service and they could get that service.”
The reality is that the bill is ambiguous regarding this issue. The specific language is in Section 1(4)(b), which states that “In response to a request for service at a location to which the modifying utility has not installed landline facilities to provide basic local exchange service, the modifying utility” may offer wireless voice service and isn’t obligated to provide basic local exchange service.
What this means is that the obligation to provide basic local exchange service through a landline that has been dormant could be read to be limited to those landlines that were initially installed “to provide basic local exchange service” and no other features. While the AT&T representative may believe the effect of the bill is broader, and obligates AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell to reinstate landline service for all existing landlines, the actual language could greatly reduce that obligation.
Modifying the language at p. 2 of 6 in this manner would fix that problem:
In response to a request for service at a location at which landline facilities do not exist as of the effective date of this act, to provide basic local exchange service, the modifying utility shall…..