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Landline legislation passes the House

Legislation that could make it easier for telephone companies to end landline service has been approved by the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill removes the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission in any effort by a phone company in abandoning a local exchange. Instead, the bill leaves the regulatory role up to the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate-approved proposal does include language that requires some sort of voice lines to be available, as well as 911-service, before a local exchange is discontinued by a phone company. The measure, which would go into effect in 2017, now goes back to the Michigan Senate for concurrence on amendments.  (MRN)