The Ohio Senate has approved a bill to reduce regulations on the traditional telephone industry as it tries to compete with an explosion in wireless services.
The Senate approved the bill 29-3 on Tuesday over the objections of consumer groups who feel it doesn't do enough to protect low-income consumers.
Republican state Sen. Steve Buehrer said the traditional telephone industry needs less burdensome regulations so it can compete with the growth of cell phones and create jobs.
But the Ohio Consumers' Counsel said the changes will leave low-income customers vulnerable by loosening service requirements.
The bill, for example, would change the law so that telephone companies don't have to repair service within 24 hours of an outage.
The legislation still needs approval from the Ohio House.