Idaho's land-line phone providers would no longer have to fix outages within 24 hours or be forced to give customers a month's service credit, under a rule change pending at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The Idaho AARP is decrying the change as a prime example of why Idaho needs a consumer advocate in its utility regulating process; Idaho is the only state in the west without one. “Had we not had a volunteer of ours bring it to our attention, we would have completely missed it, as have, I believe, the majority of Idaho consumers,” said AARP spokesman David Irwin.
AARP submitted comments protesting the rule change on May 31, the final day of a public comment period, more than a month after the IPUC had convened settlement talks with telephone companies and drafted the rule change. It was prompted by an application from CenturyLink, the state's largest land-line telephone provider, and several related companies, for an exemption from the rule, which the company argued is obsolete. Washington has a somewhat similar 48-hour rule; there's no move on in that state to change it. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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