States move toward making endangered land lines extinct
WHITEFIELD, Maine - Maine is joining a growing group of states that have passed laws that limit or remove state regulations of basic, landline phone service.
A bill Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed into law last week aims to meet the business interests of the state's largest telephone company, FairPoint Communications, while protecting consumers who live in rural areas that have few options for phone service.
Thirteen states in the last three years have said that telephone companies can use alternative technologies, like wireless and broadband internet, to provide basic service. Maine is the first state to end landline phone service mandates in communities where there is competition among providers.
Concern is acute in Maine, which is the most rural state and the one with the oldest average population.