Groups Warn About Phone Deregulation In NJ

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two advocacy groups were warning that deregulating phone service in New Jersey would lead to higher rates, especially for senior citizens and those who live in rural areas.

The state Senate could soon consider give final approval for the changes, which have already passed in the Assembly. The industry says they would increase competition and are needed to reflect the modern telecommunications world.

The left-leaning groups New Jersey Policy Perspectives and Demos point to a 2009 survey by the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, which found that rates rose in 17 of the 20 states that deregulated.

Consumer groups said deregulation would take away protections for consumers.

Verizon said the advocates’ report relies on “fiction, false assumptions and fear-mongering.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Winning!

    OK I am apparently in the minority on this given my fellow posters – though not in smack talking my cable service:) – but regardless of previous examples to which this “study” refers, what about a straight up better business environment?!?! NJ’s economy is in the tank right now and if less regulation brings more companies to the state I say come one come all.

  • jerseyjoey

    Well, Verizon is a Terrible example to use in any form, From being years behind in service and acting like they still are Ma Bell with no compitition is a example of why they are done with the Joe Consumer in both Pots and Wireless. The Days of deposits, High termination Fees, Taxed Lines, 2 year contracts are OVER: VOIP like Vonage and Cheap Walmart Prepaid cell Everything Deals are the Future, Bye Verizon your to rigid to change and when you finally do its to late thats why you are always playing catch up and a dollar short.

  • nypj

    with all of the competition in the industry – more people using just cell phones, and many businesses moving over to VoIP providers with hosted PBX – POTS service is becoming more difficult for the phone providers to continue to take a loss on. POTS cost more to maintain than any of the alternatives, yet is one of the most heavily regulated telephone services (compared to VoIP/cellular)

    The push from these companies to deregulate is likely just the first step in them attempting to get out of the POTS industry. Verizon has already sold some areas off to smaller companies such as Frontier. The only thing worth anything any more is all of the copper industry.

  • PJ

    Deregulation has NEVER benefitted the Public- just the CEO’S and Board Members. If ANYthing, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint need to be more heavily regulated than ever. Forced audits should be conducted every year and the complete results made public.

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