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 Maybe all the gambling talk in Frankfort is causing AT&T to bet again this year Kentucky consumers will give up their Kentucky Public Service Commission protection of regular telephone service. And they will lose again because they are putting all their cards on the table.

ATT dealt three phony cards: 1) “comparable service (wireless)” will be made available if ATT cuts your landline, 2) Kentucky seniors will not be hurt by loss of PSC oversight, and 3) consumers have protection under federal regulations.

The cards under the table are: 1) ATT’s own disclaimer on its wireless products says “AT&T does not represent that the Wireless Home Phone service will be equivalent to landline phone service,” 2) seniors are already complaining that landline service is deteriorating and wireless service is spotty.

The third and largest hidden card is this: ATT began the official process of destroying federal protections of landline users in November, 2012 by filing its intent to petition with the FCC.  Once demolition of federal regulation is complete, giant ATT wants to be free to state consumer protections such as those we still have in Kentucky.

Plain old telephone service is a lifeline for many Kentuckians and some medical and security equipment used by seniors requires a landline. It should be the consumer who decides to discontinue her telephone service – not some shark playing a strange version of Three Card Monty with our legislators.

Bill Harned