Complaining to State About Phones Could End

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Customers might no longer be able to call the state's utility regulatory board to complain about phone service.

A bill moving through the Alabama Legislature would complete the deregulation of home and business phone service by ending the Public Service Commission's ability to handle customer complaints about landlines.

The bill is being pushed by the state's largest phone company, AT&T. The company's Alabama president, Fred McCallum, says regulation is no longer needed because the industry is highly competitive and unhappy customers can switch companies. PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh says she's not taking a position on the bill.

The bill by Republican Rep. Mike Hill of Columbiana has already been approved by a House committee and is awaiting action in the House.

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