New Jersey Policy Perspective

Alternative Telecom Deregulation Bill Maintains Crucial Consumer Protections

New Jersey Policy Perspective — Monday, November 21, 2011

NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact ...

New Jersey Citizen Action, the AARP and other consumer groups and elected officials held a Trenton press conference today calling on the state to continue its oversight of the telecommunications industry via a new bill that deregulates some cable and telecom services but retains key consumer protections and oversight over rates and infrastructure.

NJPP applauds the effort to streamline regulations and still protect consumers in the new bill, known as the "Comprehensive Telco-Cable Deregulation Ensuring Consumer Protection Act" (S3062). The legislation was introduced in September by Sen. Bob Smith as an alternative to legislation pushed by industry groups that does not include the same consumer protections.

Earlier this year, NJPP teamed up with Demos to produce a detailed analysis last year of that bill, S2664. It found that the measure would likely lead to a rate increase for New Jersey families similar to those experienced by other states in the wake of deregulation. S2664 could also cost those customers and New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars, if Verizon were to sell off its landline business in the state without rigorous regulatory oversight.

"While there is always room to improve telecom services in any state, New Jersey would be exchanging a regulatory system that is largely working for New Jersey families for a deregulatory scheme that has failed consumers in state after state," our report, How to Raise the Phone Bill of the Average New Jersey Family, found.

Top Top | NJCA Homepage | NJCA in the News