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Voice Over Internet Services Battle At Capitol

A fight is underway at the California Capitol over the possible regulation of voice over internet services, or VoIP The state’s Public Utilities Commission doesn’t regulate such communications providers and Democratic State Senator Alex Padilla wants to make sure it doesn’t start. He’s pushing a bill that’s sponsored by companies like AT&T and Verizon. It would prohibit the PUC from regulating VoIP and was approved by a legislative committee today.

Padilla says the internet economy has flourished in the state: “California is uniquely poised to continue to foster that innovation and consumer benefit and this is part of doing so.”

Some consumer groups strongly oppose the bill. Mark Toney is with The Utility Reform Network. He says V-O-I-P customers would suffer. “Those are the customers who will lose all protections and ability to go complain to the California Public Utilities Commission.

But Senator Padilla says no consumer protections would be lost under the bill.

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