House committee approves bill to ditch rural landline requiremen - WDRB 41 Louisville News

House committee approves bill to ditch rural landline requirements

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Telephone companies would not be forced to provide traditional landlines to Kentucky's urban areas under a bill that passed a state House committee on Thursday.

The bill would stop requiring companies like AT&T from providing landlines in areas that have more than 15,000 housing units. Hood Harris, president of AT&T of Kentucky, said federal regulations would not allow AT&T to remove existing landlines. And he said the bill would free AT&T to spend more money on increasing high speed Internet access for the state's rural areas.

But opponents say telecommunications trade groups are lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to remove those protections. Kentucky Resources Council Director Tom Fitzgerald said it is too early for lawmakers to remove landline protections because alternative connections often do not work well with home security systems and some health monitoring services.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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