AUGUSTA (AP) — The state is holding a series of public forums on the upcoming deregulation of basic landline telephone services in Maine.

A law that takes effect in August says FairPoint Communications no longer has to provide universal landline access regardless of profitability in Maine’s 22 most populated towns. The company must continue providing such services to current customers for another year.

The hearings kick off this Thursday in Bangor at 6 p.m. Additional sessions will be held in Sanford, South Portland, Biddeford and Auburn before the final hearing on Aug. 3 in Portland.

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