Qwest, Frontier and Iowa Telecom will no longer have to get the approval of state regulators for the rates they charge for local phone service. Governor Tom Vilsack signed the bill into law this (Tuesday) morning that deregulates local phone service. “It is legislation that reflects the new and evolving telecommunications world that we live in, where we can be instantaneously in contact with people literally around the world,” Vilsack says. Vilsack says the change will bring about greater competition among companies that offer local phone service to Iowans. “Competition will be good for our state, will be good for our people and will also be good for our nation,” he says. The governor envisions an expand of high-speed Internet service as a result of the deregulation of local phone service. “This legislation recognizes the ever-changing world that we live in and specifically the ever-changing world that telecommunications represents,” Vilsack says. The bill calls for continued state regulation of single phone lines for businesses or homes for the next three years to ensure phone companies to not raise prices dramatically for Iowa consumers, particularly the elderly, who have just one phone line.
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