House Approves Simpler Land Line Elimination Rules

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan phone companies could more easily discontinue land line services under a Senate bill that has passed the House.

The bill would streamline regulations for ending land line service after 2016 and require the state to maintain a public database of providers of land line services. It passed 71-39 on Tuesday and now goes back to the Senate.

Republicans control both chambers.

Supporters say it will help Michigan discard outdated technology. AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray says the legislation would help AT&T "invest in new, more efficient communications services."

Opponents include AARP Michigan, which says land lines are cheaper and more dependable than wireless or internet phones. Republican Rep. Ed McBroom of Vulcan says cellphone coverage "is not really all that reliable" in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and many rural areas.

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