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Senate Passes Bill to Allow for Transition from Land Lines to Internet-Based Telephone Service

Posted on December 5, 2013 by Dene Westbrook
This afternoon the Senate reported Senate Bill 636, a bill that would give phone companies the ability to transition from traditional land lines to internet-based service beginning January 1, 2017.
The bill would amend the Michigan Telecommunications Act to do make a number of changes including eliminating a requirement for a Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) proceeding for a telecommunication provider to discontinue basic local exchange or toll service to an exchange, beginning January 1, 2017. It would also require a provider wishing to discontinue service to notify the MPSC, the provider’s customers, any interconnecting providers, and the public at the same time as filing a petition for discontinuance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The bill would further require a provider to notify the same parties again upon the FCC’s approval, at least 90 days before discontinuing service. It would also allow the MPSC to issue an order allowing the current provider to provide the service until another willing provider was available, if the MPSC determined that another provider was not capable of providing the service.

The legislation now heads to the House for approval.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

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