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Rep. Ashford Decries Bill to Raise Telephone Rates

Special to The Truth

 State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) last week criticized the June passage of House Bill (HB) 402, legislation that raises telephone rates and pulls service from certain markets.
“I voted against this bill because I believe it will place heavy financial burden on aging citizens, low-income individuals and those that live in rural areas,” said Ashford. “Ohio consumers could pay an additional $100 over the next four years and, after the fourth year, phone companies can raise unlimited rates without an approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). I believe Sub. HB 402 eliminates consumer protection laws that have been in place for over a century. Unfortunately, a rollback on consumer protections is a perfect example of how Ohio Republicans have lined up with President Trump’s policies. I believe the rich just get richer.”
The bill changes current state law, which ensures the availability of adequate basic local service throughout the state to a policy that allows telecommunications companies to provide service where available. The change in law means telephone companies will not expand service to rural, urban or poor areas of the state. The legislation also gives the companies the ability to raise rates by two dollars each year and provides them with full pricing flexibility or unlimited rate increases with little to no consumer protections from PUCO. 
The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.


Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 22:37:14 -0700.

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