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Pa. House Votes to Exorcise Ghost Poles

The Pennsylvania House passed a “ghost poles” bill on Halloween. The House voted 202-0 Tuesday for the bipartisan HB-1619 by Rep. Alec Ryncavage (R). It would require the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to make rules to speed replacement of damaged…

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poles and eliminate double-pole situations where a replacement pole is built alongside an older one that isn’t immediately removed. HB-1619, goes next to the Senate, is the furthest along of six Republican telecom accountability bills that were introduced together this session (see 2310030036). Sponsors of the other five bills Monday urged consumers to comment by Dec. 11 at the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate on a proposed settlement meant to resolve Frontier Communications problems. Frontier agreed to invest $100 million and provide bill credits in last week’s pact with consumer and small business advocates (see 2310260023). “Our goal from the start of this process has been to hold Frontier accountable to the people it serves,” said a joint statement by Republican Pennsylvania Reps. Tina Pickett, Clint Owlett, Martin Causer, Jonathan Fritz and Joe Hamm. “Paying customers deserve reliable telephone and internet services, responsive customer service and proactive efforts by the company to invest in the maintenance of its infrastructure.”