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AT&T Bill On The Way To Beshear

Kentucky could join at least two dozen other states in deregulating its landline telephone services, the beginning of the end for the more than 100-year-old technology that is being pushed out by cellphones and high-speed Internet access.

The state Senate voted 30-3 on Monday to strip the Public Service Commission of its authority to make telecommunications companies install and maintain landline telephone service. The bill now heads to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature, and the Democratic governor has indicated he will sign it.

The bill only affects areas that have at least 15,000 households, meaning the rural mountainous parts of the state famous for spotty cellphone coverage would be unaffected. But the bill allows the larger telecommunications companies to scale back their landline services in favor of other options, including Internet telephone service.

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