Friday, January 31, 2014

KY Senate Rushes to Let AT&T Kill Rural Phone Service

Quick, somebody go check the copy of the U.S. Constitution in the National Archives; somebody must have scratched out the third word of the Preamble and added a new one, so that now it reads:
We the Corporations
Because we are truly a nation of the Corporations, by the Corporations and for the Corporations
A bill that would further reduce state regulation of telephone service in Kentucky could speed through Senate committee and floor votes Thursday.
Senate Bill 99 is the newest version of what many at the state Capitol call "the AT&T bill," because that company has played a key role in pushing the deregulation proposal for several years. Critics blocked it in the past, saying it could leave rural Kentuckians stranded without cheap and reliable land-line service while freeing the major phone companies to pursue more profitable high-tech customers.


Since 2011, AT&T's political action committee has given about $55,000 to state election campaigns in Kentucky, including $5,000 to the Senate Republican majority's chief fundraising committee and $5,000 more to the House Democratic majority's chief fundraising committee. The company spent $108,846 last year on legislative expenses related to its 22 Frankfort lobbyists.
The article fails to mention the biggest problem with eliminating landlines and forcing people to use cell phones: electricity service in the Commonwealth is extremely unreliable. Every time a puff of wind knocks a tree limb onto an overhead power line, power goes out to thousands of people for hours if not days. No electricity, no cell phones.

Not that the Kentucky General Assembly or the Public Service Commission, which have consistently refused to force utilities to bury power lines, gives a shit about citizens injured and dead from being unable to call for help.

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