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Senate Advances Phone Deregulation Bill

The Republican state Senate has advanced a bill that would likely accelerate the death of Kentucky's traditional landline service after a similar proposal seemed to falter in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Supporters were optimistic the bill would get a vote in the House after it easily cleared a committee last week. But since then House members piled on eight amendments, a sign the body is far from a consensus.

The bill wouldn't require telephone companies to maintain traditional landline service in areas that have more than 15,000 households. AT&T of Kentucky President Hood Harris vowed no one with an existing landline would lose service.

Opponents say the state is moving too fast, arguing alternative services are not reliable for home security systems and medical monitoring devices.

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