HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today amended and passed House Bill 30, The Pennsylvania Telecommunications Consumer Empowerment Act, by a vote of 163-35. The bill, introduced by State Reps. William Adolph, Jr. (R-Delaware) and Joseph Preston, Jr. (D-Allegheny), reauthorizes Chapter 30 of the state Public Utility Code with certain modifications. The original statute, which sunsets Dec. 31, encouraged local telephone companies to operate under an alternative form of regulation in exchange for the accelerated deployment of a universally available, broadband telecommunications network in Pennsylvania. The following statement should be attributed to James V. O'Rourke, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.
"The passage of House Bill 30 is a crucial step toward ensuring that Pennsylvania's telecommunications marketplace continues to promote competition, encourage investment and innovation, and deliver long-term benefits to all Pennsylvanians.
"We applaud the House, and the Consumer Affairs Committee in particular, for their hard work and leadership in moving H.B. 30 forward.
"We urge the state Senate to consider and pass this important legislation expeditiously to keep Pennsylvania a national leader in telecommunications."