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PA Taking Steps to Bring Innovative Communications Services to Residents

Earlier this week, we testified in Pennsylvania in support of legislation designed to promote the growth of Internet communications services and provide consumers with greater choice and competition.

This bill prohibits regulation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other IP-enabled products and services, while preserving important consumer protections and opening the door to serious consumer savings. In fact, one study finds that Pennsylvania residents would save up to $4.8 billion over the next five years.

The legislation is especially important for rural Pennsylvanians who have yet to experience the benefits of broadband and voice competition. VoIP companies will enjoy certainty that their investments in consumer services and customer acquisition will not be undermined by new regulations. As a result, consumers in rural Pennsylvania will benefit from increased voice competition, allowing rural telecom companies to extend broadband more affordably and allow rural communities to better compete in the global marketplace through telework and telecommuting.

This bill promotes choice, convenience and commerce over the Internet—and will help bring innovative communications services to more Pennsylvania citizens.  By not regulating IP-enabled services and VoIP, this legislature is actively promoting consumer welfare and business innovation in Pennsylvania.

And for that, we applaud them.