The following is an op-ed from Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson about telecommunications modernization.
In the wake of years of over-regulation, the Kentucky Chamber is greatly encouraged by Governor Bevin’s “Red Tape Reduction” initiative and the pro-business environment it seeks to cultivate. Currently, there are more than 4,700 different state regulations in Kentucky – many of which are both costly and harmful, especially when it comes to the future of private investment.
The 2017 General Assembly has already seen tremendous success for business in just the first five days of the session and has a wonderful opportunity to continue to “cut the red tape” by passing pro-growth telecommunications reform.
The Chamber has long been a supporter of modernizing Kentucky’s telecommunications regulations which are burdensome, out of date and stifle economic development.
Here in Kentucky, traditional landline service is subject to monopoly-era regulations created for telegraphs and rotary-dial telephones. By forcing investment in out of date technology, it is taking away much needed funds for modern, high speed, dependable technology on which businesses depend. This inevitably stifles innovation and investment.
Telecommunications reform will help the Commonwealth attract new investment, create and retain jobs, protect consumers and build the new infrastructure we need to compete both nationally and globally.
In March of 2015, the Kentucky legislature took an important step toward modernization when it passed House Bill 152, which provided regulatory relief in limited areas of the state. No customer of even the largest provider has lost traditional landline service as a result of that bill, and the time is ripe to take the next logical step of extending the same regulatory relief for telecommunications throughout the state.
The Commonwealth’s communications laws are clearly out-of-date, and by strategically modernizing them now, our elected officials will encourage communications investment in Kentucky, while also signaling a friendlier climate for other industries as well. During the current legislative session, our state legislators can finish what they started by voting in favor of pro-growth telecommunications reform legislation.
For more state government news go to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s The Bottom Line blog.