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Deregulating Telecommunications in Indiana: AARP Members Speak Out

AARP Member Opinion Research

During the 2006 legislative session, Indiana lawmakers are considering state Senate and House bills that would deregulate basic residential telephone service and increase broadband service by 2009. In addition to deregulating basic residential telephone service, Senate Bill 245 would allow telephone companies to raise monthly rates by $1 each year until 2009, significantly deregulate quality of service, and require one statewide agency to award video programming contracts. A similar measure, House Bill 1279, is also being considered.

This survey explores AARP Indiana members’ experiences with telephone service, the cost of services, and their opinions about deregulation in Indiana. Of the 824 members interviewed by phone…

  • Almost eight in ten oppose a change in the law that would allow telephone companies to set their own prices for local telephone service.
  • Two-thirds oppose a state law that would limit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s ability to require that telephone companies improve their service quality.
  • More than half would be less likely to vote for a legislator who supported changing the law to allow telephone companies to set the price of basic local telephone service, and almost half would be less likely to vote for a legislator supported a law limiting the Commission’s ability to require that telephone companies improve their service quality.
  • Almost half say it should be a priority for AARP Indiana to work on maintaining affordable, reliable, high quality telephone services in the state.

The phone survey was conducted from January 6th through 12th, 2006 by Woelfel Research, Inc. Further information may be obtained by contacting Dr. Silberman, the report’s author, at 202-434-6339. (18 pages)

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