Will Overregulation Kill Land Line Telephones?

Contact: Christine Hall, 202.331.2258

Washington, D.C., September 6, 2007—Americans are ditching their land line phones for cell phones in favor of mobile telephones, Voice Over IP (VOIP) service, and other alternatives; and many colleges, universities, and new housing subdivisions have done away with traditional land line service altogether. But for people who want to keep their land lines, a new report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute shows that a new round of de-regulation is needed.

In Keeping the Voices Alive: A Brief Prescription for Saving Land Line Telephone Service, CEI Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer explains how deregulating land line telephone service will offer more new choices to consumers, lower prices, and, ultimately, keep land line telephone service available as an option.

"The land line telephone business faces very serious problems across the board," writes Lehrer in the report. "Traditional land line telephone service transmitted over copper and coaxial cable—the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)—faces serious peril and could well disappear in the medium- to long-term, at least for residential use.

"[I]f we wish to maintain universal land line telephone service in the United States, we must leave new voice telecom technologies—VoIP and Device-Based Telephony—as lightly regulated as possible," Lehrer concludes.

Read- Keeping the Voices Alive: A Brief Prescription for Saving Land line Telephone Service

Eli Lehrer Bio & Publications