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“State's phone help is a hindrance”
Speaking of trying to cope with change, the Michigan Senate basically opted for the status quo when it dumped a telephone regulation bill on the House this week that actually expands government control.
The legislation would, for example, regulate such wireless devices as cell phones for the first time in the state. They are one of the most innovative services we have and remarkably inexpensive. Why tamper with success? And the bill would maintain regulated, rather than competitive, rates for most home phones.
Perhaps the worst aspect of this anticonsumer legislation is the proposed ban on Oakland and other counties providing Internet access in cooperation with private companies. Such access would foster competition, not stifle it, as government involvement typically does.
So is Michigan ever going to stop fighting innovation in misguided attempts to "protect" consumers?
Phone company monopolies are over. Competition can keep them honest now.
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey was here in May to talk about telecommunications and to tell us, "You've got to have a force within the state that goes to a legislator and says, TThis is a new and different time.' "