House Oks lifting cold-call ban on telecoms

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News,Science and Technology

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The House voted overwhelmingly for Idaho to lift a 13-year-old restriction barring phone and cable TV companies from calling existing customers to market new products or services.

Wednesday's floor vote was 65 to 5 to send the measure to the Senate.

A single Republican, Rep. Maxine Bell of Jerome, opposed the bill, which had also been panned by the Idaho attorney general's office as an unwanted intrusion on people's privacy.

The House majority, however, agreed with phone companies including Frontier Communications and Century Link Inc. that it's unfair to forbid them from calling their customers to sell them new, faster Internet service.

Customers can still ask not to be bothered.

In 2000, phone companies were singled out with the restriction by Idaho lawmakers who worried they'd abuse their monopoly.

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