Advocates Oppose AT&T Proposal To Eliminate Land Lines

Apr 19, 2017

A coalition of consumer rights groups is urging Illinois lawmakers to vote against two bills that would allow AT&T to eliminate phone service on traditional landlines.

House and Senate members are considering proposals to let the telecommunications company convert to a modern Internet-based system.

Citizens Utility Board Director of Governmental Affairs Bryan McDaniel says the measures would leave many in the Metro East with cable television companies as the only option for a fixed-line phone.

"It doesn't take someone with an economic degree that one option, one un-regulation option for people, isn't very cheap. So I'm sure cable is sitting back licking their chops."

The utility board, AARP and Illinois Public Interest Research Group are spearheading the opposition effort.

They say the bills put traditional and more reliable landline service at risk for more than one-million business and residential customers.

AT&T says roughly 99-percent of its Illinois customers have already shifted to more modern technology or have access to a traditional line.