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Summary: Recent legislation has increased competition in Texas’ telecommunications market, including legislation that reduced regulations on local telephone service provided to more than 15 million Texans in 2006. In 2011, the 82nd Legislature enabled innovative technology such as VOIP, cable and broadband to compete in the market by ending tariffs and removing monopolistic regulation.
SB 259 would continue to increase competition in Texas’ telecommunications market. Regulation has been reduced for competitive local exchange carriers to encourage them to compete with incumbent local exchange carriers, but while this lower regulatory burden has benefited competitive local exchange carriers, this deregulation has produced regulatory uncertainty among incumbent carriers. SB 259 reduces current regulatory uncertainty for incumbent local exchange carriers.