Senator Sparks and Representative Sanders promote telecom deregulation

Today MinnPost published an editorial from Senator Sparks and Representative Sanders. They mention the Minnesota Broadband Fund and the need for telecom regulation…

There is lots of talk about how much money the state should spend on ensuring every Minnesotan has proper access to a broadband connection (“Minnesota governor’s budget allocates $100 million to expand rural high-speed broadband”). We are certain to have another robust debate at the Capitol this year around public funding for these initiatives. Yet, we must also modernize Minnesota’s communications laws to level the playing field between all the providers. While technology has advanced, Minnesota’s statutes governing communications date back to a law passed over 100 years ago.

The have introduced a bill…

That is why we introduced legislation (SF895/HF776) to ensure that Minnesota consumers are protected while providing regulatory certainty for VoIP or IP-enabled service providers. This legislation would catch Minnesota up to the 33 states that have already modernized their state communications laws. Updating our laws benefits consumers, urban and rural areas equally and will help grow our economy.

And explain what the bill won’t do…

Importantly, the changes as proposed in our legislation would not impact 911 emergency services as some claim or traditional landline voice service – nobody loses their phone line! Additionally, federal and state consumer protections are not changed.

You can look at the bill for more info on what it would do. Here’s the short description from the House (you can get a longer version from the Senate)…

Voice-over-Internet protocol service and Internet protocol-enabled service regulation prohibited.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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