Links of the Day:
– Faced with the decline of landline customers, telecoms want to shed the requirement they provide low-cost phone service. Windstream and AT&T have led the charge to change the law in Kentucky. The Washington Post reports the telecoms have lost a third of their landline customers:
The universal landline requirement has been repealed in Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. There, new homeowners have no guarantee that they could order phone service at affordable rates, consumer advocates say. Those with landline phones could lose their service and have to get wireless phones or Internet-based services, such as Skype or Vonage.
Ohio, along with Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and California are considering bills that would absolve carriers such as Verizon and AT&T from the landline obligation. The matter is expected to be raised eventually in the District, Virginia and Maryland, which are served by Verizon, industry officials and consumer advocates said.
Added Joel Lubin, vice president of public policy at AT&T: “The train has left the station. Consumers are making their choices, and it’s not for plain, old telephones. Yet an outdated regulatory system still applies.”
Consumer advocates are gravely concerned poor, rural and elderly residents will be forced to buy more expensive landline services or cellphones. In some rural areas, cellphone service isn’t even an option.
So far,this has not come up in New York.
– A former head of the TSA wrote a must-read piece in the Wall Street Journal about the broken “Easter egg hunt” airport security system.
The Democrat and Chronicle sent letters to subscribers telling them a print subscription plus digital access will cost $23.50 a month. The letter indicate that’s a promotional price. The cost of a monthly subscription now is $18.39. It does not appear there’s a print-only option. The D&C has not unveiled the digital-only pricing plan yet.