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Kansas House Approves Telecom Deregulation Bill

The Kansas House has approved a bill that lessens the state's regulation of telecommunications companies and begins phasing out a special charge consumers pay each month to ensure universal land line service.

The House's 118-1 vote Monday sends the measure to the Senate.

The bill resulted from a compromise between AT&T Inc., the state's largest telephone service provider, and other telecommunications companies. It follows up on a 2011 law that allowed companies to avoid state by state price caps on local land line service.

This year's bill would allow those same companies to avoid the state's consumer protection and minimum service quality regulations.

In exchange, the companies would get smaller subsidies from the state to ensure universal service. Consumers now pay a charge to finance the subsidies.

© Associated Press
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