CONTACT: Susan Henry, Consumer Liaison; e-mail:
Advocate Sonny Popowsky today urged members of the General Assembly to
support telecommunications legislation that would protect Pennsylvania
consumers and accelerate deployment of high-speed telecommunications
services throughout Pennsylvania.
Speaking at a press briefing
held by Representative Brett Feese in the State Capitol, Mr. Popowsky stated
his support for House Bill 1669, which is sponsored by Representative Feese
and more than 100 other House members. At the same time, Mr. Popowsky noted
his support for similar legislation sponsored by Representative Mike Veon as
well as Senate legislation that is being introduced by Senator Jake Corman
and Senator Connie Williams.
“What all these bills have in
common is the recognition that the basic telephone services that all
Pennsylvanians depend on must be preserved at affordable levels, while at
the same time, high-speed broadband services must be deployed throughout
Pennsylvania as rapidly as possible,” Popowsky said.
“The approaches taken by
Representative Feese, Representative Veon, and Senators Corman and Williams
are not identical,” Mr. Popowsky noted, “but each bill takes a strong
pro-consumer approach to meeting the Commonwealth’s future
According to Mr. Popowsky,
each of the bills includes a number of essential elements, including:
protection against large basic service rate increases, expansion of the
federally funded Lifeline program that provides rate discounts of up to $100
per year to low-income Pennsylvania telephone customers, improvements in
telephone service quality, a statewide inventory of high speed
telecommunications service, and rapid deployment of high speed broadband
service to underserved communities throughout all areas of Pennsylvania.
Copies of Mr. Popowsky’s
legislative testimony on these telecommunications issues over the past year
are available at the Office of Consumer Advocate’s Website at