Topeka Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback plans to sign a bill loosening regulation of AT&T;, the state's largest provider of local telephone service.
The signing ceremony will take place Thursday afternoon at an AT&T; facility in the Johnson County town of Mission.
The legislation makes it easier for AT&T; to avoid a state cap on rates for stand-alone, local landline service that still apply in many of the areas it serves. But prices for basic local service in rural areas can't exceed those in urban areas.
Other AT&T; rates already have been deregulated. The changes take effect July 1.
Supporters say the measure will make Kansas more business-friendly and attract investment. Critics say rates are likely to rise for thousands of Kansans who only want a single landline in their homes.