As fewer people rely on landline phones, more states are moving away from regulation of the telephone industry, Pamela M. Prah reports at Stateline.org. More than a quarter of all households are now wireless-only, according to federal statistics, double the number that have only landline service. (Connecticut is a lagger, with only 13.6 percent of adults living in wireless-only households.)
Proponents of deregulation say it makes no sense to maintain state oversight of landlines when cellular, Internet and other alternative telecom technologies are unregulated. Deregulation, they say, would stimulate investment and create jobs.
But opponents argue that deregulation could hurt people who don’t have cell phones, including many elderly and residents of rural areas. States not only regulate prices, but also set standards for access and adequacy of service to ensure everyone is connected.