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State will continue to regulate landline phone service

The state government will continue to regulate rates for local landline telephone service, and investigate consumer complaints.

The Senate adjourned for the year without acting yesterday on a bill sought by ATT to de-regulate landlines.

The company said cell and Internet based phones are not regulated, and landlines should have a level playing field.

But Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker sided with consumers who feared the bill would drive up phone rates and remove consumer protections.

Decker wanted the Joint Finance Committee to take up the measure, but it didn't have time before the session ended.