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Legislature Brings RCA Regulations to 21st Century

Olson’s HB 169 eliminates telephone book regulations

Monday, April 21, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – The 28th Alaska Legislature today passed legislation bringing an end to the regulation and required distribution of telephone directories.

House Bill 169, by Representative Kurt Olson, eliminates the oversight of production and distribution of telephone directories currently required by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

“White page directories are increasingly obsolete,” Olson, R-Soldotna, said. “The directories are only updated once a year and don’t include mobile listings or unlisted numbers. In the case of one provider, more than 40 percent of their customers requested to be unlisted.

“Constituents have expressed strong opinions about not wanting printed directories,” Olson said. “HB 169 takes those opinions into account and modernizes the RCA’s regulations, allowing telecommunication providers to directly meet the wants and needs of their customers.”

There have been successful opt-in programs authorized by the RCA allowing telecommunication providers to send postcards to customers asking whether or not they would like a phone directory. Examples are Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kenai. “We’re putting into statute what the RCA has proven to be effective in two-thirds of the state,” Olson said.

HB 169, which passed the House April 3, 2014, now goes to the Governor for signature.

 

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