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Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.6357-B Budget Part ZZ

Support

SUBJECT:

Public Service Commission Study of Telecommunications Services

 

DATE:

March 20, 2014

 

The Business Council opposes this budget bill which mandates the Public Service Commission (Commission) to conduct a comprehensive examination and study of the state of the telecommunications industry in New York. The point of this study is to determine if New York's laws and regulations need to be adjusted in today's changing communications marketplace in order to create better customer services. This measure would require telephone corporations and other telecommunications service providers to provide records and other internal documents to the Commission as necessary to carry out their study.

New York has been on the leading edge of change in communications technology and competition. Customers today have a wide choice of companies and technologies to deliver their communications services from wireline and wireless, to cable telephony, VoIP and satellite.

Given this competitive and diverse marketplace, we believe that consumers should be the drivers of prices and services. Market forces can be far more effective than regulation in ensuring that consumers receive quality services and competitive prices. With customers able to choose from so many options, carriers have a strong incentive to provide high quality service. Not doing so will result in the loss of customers.

In a competitive communications marketplace, companies should not be asked to shoulder additional regulations and be subject to increased oversight. The time has come for relaxing consumer regulations associated with telecommunications services. Limiting the Commission's oversight is the best way to ensure the public will receive the most reliable telecommunications services available, while growing the economy of New York.

For these reasons we think this measure is unnecessary and strongly urge its disapproval.