Gov. Brown Signs Phone Bill Curbing Oversight On Calls Made Over The Net

SACRAMENTO (AP)  —  Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he had signed a bill curbing regulatory oversight of phone calls made over the internet.

The Democratic governor said the legislation, which is backed by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., will encourage the growth of “innovative services that have become the hallmark of our state.”

Members of the California Public Utilities Commission said SB 1161 would prevent them from regulating any telephone services, because land-line phones now use technology that sends voice signals over the Internet.

Consumer advocates also opposed the bill, and said it would enable companies to skirt regulations that help low-income and disabled customers.

Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla (D- LA), said he wrote the legislation to protect the vitality of the state’s wireless industry.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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