Quick Hit Adam Doster Thursday May 13th, 2010, 9:57am

CUB Pushing Quinn To Modify Telecom Bill

Large telecom companies in Illinois won a big victory in Springfield last week when both chambers unanimously approved a significant rewrite of the Illinois Telecommunications Act. Despite the wide support the bill earned in the legislature, consumer advocates are justifiably worried about some of the language. While they were able to preserve "safe-harbor" packages -- which guarantee low landline phone rates for vulnerable customers -- the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) could not keep in place an Illinois Commerce Commission order requiring AT&T to offer high-speed Internet access to 90 percent of its customers outside the Chicago area. In fact, CUB spokesperson Jim Chilsen tells us his organization is urging Gov. Pat Quinn to issue an amendatory veto to reinstate this mandate.

On Tuesday night, Chris Wetterich analyzed the politics of a potential veto for Quinn, who was instrumental in CUB's formation. To reject the change, both chambers would need a three-fifths majority.


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