Texas has recently been one step ahead of the rest of the country in telecommunications, passing major telecom reform legislation in both 1995 and 2005. Thanks to a bill passed by the 79th Legislature—SB 5—local telephone service for more than 15 million Texans was significantly deregulated as of January 1, 2006. This was a major step forward in reducing costs and bringing new technologies and services to millions of Texans.
Texas again took the lead in 2011. The Legislature passed SB 980, an omnibus telecommunications deregulation bill. This legislation allows new technology and innovation such as VOIP, broadband, and cable to compete in the market. The law ended specific tariffing requirements and removed monopoly relic regulation. Ultimately, it will increase competition in the marketplace and lower costs for Texas consumers.