AARP: Illinois telecom bill means end of affordable, reliable landline telephones

From AARP Illinois, PR Newswire
PDF  May 31, 2017
PDF May 25, 2017  — on previous bill

May 31, 2017

Passage of SB1839 opens door to safety and security concerns for 1.2 million landline customers

Statement by AARP Illinois Director of Advocacy Ryan Gruenenfelder

The legislation, pushed by AT&T, deregulates the consumer telephone sector and will eliminate traditional landline phone service without providing customers with reliable and affordable alternatives.

The passage of the bill means that seniors living on fixed incomes, residents of rural areas, individuals who rely on landlines to connect with their health care providers and transmit information from lifesaving devices such as pacemakers, small businesses in many communities, and low-income families unable to afford mobile phones are at risk of being disconnected and increasingly isolated without the ability to afford alternatives.

Also of grave concern is the fact that the deregulation authorized by SB 1839 creates safety and security concerns across Illinois, as the reliability of using cell phones to access emergency services such as 911 has often been compromised.

AARP, on behalf of its 1.7 million Illinois members, is extremely disappointed at this decision, which will hurt the pocketbooks of countless Illinois residents and businesses and put the health and lives of many at risk.

It is outrageous that the General Assembly can once again work together to help a highly profitable telecomm company make even more money, but they haven’t been able to negotiate a state budget to help the people of Illinois.

AARP will make sure our members know how their legislators voted on this issue. We urge Governor Rauner to stand on the side of residential and business consumers who depend on traditional telephone service, and veto SB 1839 as soon as it hits his desk.”

To see how your legislator voted, click on the links below:

House vote:

Senate vote:
5-25-17 press release: “SB 1381 Spells Bad News For Illinois Consumers”

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