Shift in Basic Telephone Service

Kentucky's telephone industry wants the option to end basic phone service in less profitable parts of their territories if other communications options, such as cell phones or the Internet, are available in the area. The industry hopes to build on its 2006 legislative success in deregulating basic land-line phone service, arguing that it needs to shift its resources to cell phone and broadband communications. But consumer advocates warn that rural communities, the poor and the elderly could be among those left behind if basic phone service disappears.