It’s time to set an innovation agenda for Pennsylvania

    Issues

    Why We Should Enact HB 1608

    It’s time for innovation policy. Rules governing landline telecommunications were designed decades ago. These outdated rules stifle innovation and growth in the modern competitive marketplace.

    Current rules were designed for a bygone era when monopolistic landline providers were a concern. Given the changes in the marketplace – aggressive competition, new technologies, evolving consumer habits – it’s time for a new, simplified approach.

    Reforming existing rules could encourage more investment and innovation while balancing consumer protections. Pennsylvania is now competing for the next wave of innovative technologies, so we need policies that encourage ongoing broadband investment and deployment across the state and the jobs that come with it.

    Public policies should drive innovation, technology and broadband deployment. We can and should update our rules to reflect the new technologies most Pennsylvanians are adopting while still balancing important consumer protections.

    Competition – not government mandates – drives innovation,  investment and economic growth. The communications industry has been a leader in investing nationwide in one of the toughest economies ever.

    Other states are creating their own innovation policies. Updating our rules will keep Pennsylvania competitive. In the past five years, a number of states have modernized their laws affecting the communications industry. It’s time for Pennsylvania to do the same.

    Pennsylvania Legislature Takes Up Innovation Agenda

    The Legislature has a unique opportunity to enact much-needed, forward thinking legislation that will establish an innovation policy for Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, Representative Warren Kampf introduced bipartisan legislation – the Telecommunications Market Competition Act (HB 1608) – to modernize the state’s outdated regulatory environment to promote competition in the communications market and spur innovation and economic growth.

    This important legislation:

    • Recognizes that the market for communications products and services is vastly different than it was when current rules were put in place.
    • Encourages continued competition for communications technologies and promotes future investment and innovation to the benefit of Pennsylvania consumers.
    • Maintains Public Utility Commission (PUC) oversight of basic landline phone services in noncompetitive exchanges.
    • Provides consistency and uniformity to the regulatory environment affecting communications providers.

    The Facts

    Pennsylvania’s Technological Revolution

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    Sources: FCC Local Telephone Competition Reports (2004, 2013), FCC Internet Access Services Reports (2004, 2013)

     

    Older Americans and Technology Use

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    Sources: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American  Life Project

    Studies

    Media

    In the News

    Bring Pa. telephone regulations into 21st century, On Thursday, The Morning Call, Debra Iannelli 11/30/13
    Telecom bill before Pa. House increases competition, improve service: As I See It, The Patriot News and The Morning Call, Steve Samara 11/13/13
    Pa. telecom rules stuck in the past, The Pittsburg Tribune, Steve Forbes 11/4/13

    Blog
    Community Expresses Strong Support at Hearing on HB 1608

    On Thursday, November 21st, the House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Telecommunications Market Competition Act (HB 1608). It was a productive hearing that provided policymakers and Pennsylvanians an opportunity to hear the merits of the bill from a range of coalition members and community partners. Several coalition partners submitted written testimony expressing their support for the bill. The sponsor of the legislation, Representative Warren Kampf, explained the idea behind his efforts noting how the legislation brings Pennsylvania’s regulatory environment in-line with where the competitive marketplace and consumers have already taken us. Read More 

    Setting the Record Straight

    We wanted to take some time to do a reality check on some of the myths that have been circulating about the Telecommunications Market Competition Act (HB 1608) from groups like the CWA & AARP. The misinformation that is out there is an unfortunate attempt to scare consumers – most notably seniors – into believing this bill is bad for Pennsylvania. By embracing HB 1608, legislators can expand consumer choice, increase competition and promote the investments and innovation needed for economic growth and technological progress. Contrary to claims made by some special interest groups, the legislation establishes a much-needed innovation policy agenda for Pennsylvania by modernizing old telecom rules to reflect the vibrant, competitive world we live in today. Read More 

    Public Policy Should Drive Innovation, Technology, and Broadband Deployment

    On Thursday, November 21,2013, the Pennsylvania House Consumer Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the Telecommunications Market Competition Act (HB 1608). By supporting and promoting passage of this important legislation, the Legislature has a unique opportunity to enact much-needed, forward-thinking reforms that will establish an innovation policy for Pennsylvania. This bill will promote next-generation technology and competition in the communications marketplace. Updating our rules will keep Pennsylvania competitive with neighboring states by offering consumers additional choices, and in so doing, make Pennsylvania more attractive for residents and economic development alike. Read More 

    About us

    The Pennsylvania Coalition for Innovation & Competition was formed to promote continued competition, innovation, investment and job creation for consumers and businesses in the Commonwealth.

    We recognize that robust competition and advances in technology have reshaped the world we live in. While Pennsylvania consumers have benefited from these developments in the form of more abundant consumer choices, new products, and better service, state regulations have not kept up with this progress.

    We believe we must reexamine and reform our more antiquated regulations to ensure they are still meeting the public interest and promoting the type of investments and innovation that will benefit Pennsylvania consumers for years to come.

     

    Coalition Members

    60 Plus Assoc AA CfC Century Link
    Chester County Econ EnterpriseCenter Frontier hancock
    hickory Hispanic CfC MSDC