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Governor Signs Historic Legislation Reforming Telecommunications Regulation In Maine

PORTLAND, Maine, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Paul LePage today signed into law historic legislation changing the way telecommunications providers are regulated in Maine. 

"This bill is an excellent example of what our administration promised to do," said LePage.  "This legislation reduces red tape and regulation, and puts all telecommunication providers under the same set of rules."  LePage said the legislation modernizes regulation, while continuing to provide the necessary protections to Maine consumers.   

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Stacey Fitts, R- Pittsfield, moves the regulatory requirements of all telecommunications providers closer to parity. The new regulations will continue to protect the public interests and do not increase regulation on any one sector of the industry.

"The legislation puts in place much needed regulatory reform reflecting today's competitive realities," said Fitts. "The current regulatory environment was outdated based on changes in the telecommunications marketplace. This is groundbreaking legislation that positions Maine as a leader in developing regulatory reform at the state level."

Mike Reed, Maine state president for FairPoint Communications, Inc. said that the legislation is a bold step forward and recognizes that the industry is going through a period of dramatic change. 

"Vigorous competition is a reality in Maine, and telecommunications regulation will now reflect that," said Reed. "This sets the stage to put all telecommunication providers, regardless of the technology they use, on a level playing field."      

Reed said that the new regulation provides regulatory freedom for all products and services, except Provider of Last Resort (POLR) responsibilities, and allows FairPoint flexibility to quickly adjust its pricing to respond to changes in the marketplace.

Also, it removes or drastically reduces long-standing regulatory burdens – some with financial penalties – that are no longer necessary in this highly competitive environment.

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