AT&T-Backed Bill Wins Senate Support

Feb 20, 2014

The Alabama Legislature has agreed to end the ability of landline phone customers to call the state's utility regulatory board with service complaints. The Alabama Senate voted 33-0 Thursday to approve a bill that does away with the Public Service Commission's authority to handle landline phone complaints. The bill passed the House earlier and now goes to the governor for his approval. The state's largest phone company, AT&T, pushed the legislation. The company said regulation is no longer needed because the industry has gone from a monopoly to a highly competitive marketplace where disgruntled customers have alternatives. The PSC doesn't regulate cellphones or Internet-based phone service. The Legislature had already ended the PSC's control of rates for landline phones. The customer complaint bill ends the last bit of regulation.