Saturday, November 27, 2021

Play

Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

Play

Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Will Illinois Cut Cord on Landline Phone Service?

Play

Wednesday, February 18, 2015   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois consumer groups say they are worried that state lawmakers will allow the cord to be cut on home phone service. The Illinois Telecommunications Act will expire this year.

Jim Chilsen, consumer director of communications for the Citizens Utility Board, said the review will open the door for AT&T and other large telecommunications companies to push customers onto phone options that are more expensive and less reliable than landline service.

"For millions of consumers and small businesses, this is still the most reliable, affordable choice," he said. "A smart phone is a great device, but it's not affordable for everyone. And anybody who's taken a trip across the state can tell you that it's not always reliable."

If lawmakers scrap the obligation to serve requirement in the act, Chilsen said, companies could abandon areas they deem unprofitable, leaving some rural areas without home phone service. He said there are also concerns that consumers' choice plans, which range from about $3 to $20 a month, no longer will be mandated. According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 40 percent of U.S. households now have no landline phone service.

AT&T officials have said the company wants to deliver more of the modern communications services that consumers are demanding, such as wireless phones and high-speed Internet calling. But Chilsen argued that there are health and safety reasons the landline option be preserved.

For "people who have pacemakers and who need to report to a doctor's office, often a landline is the most reliable way," he said. "Often, consumers are concerned about 911 service. The most reliable 911 option is a landline because it doesn't go out in a power outage."

In a survey conducted last year on behalf of AARP, nearly half of respondents said they use traditional phone service nearly always or most of the time. The percentages were higher for Illinoisans ages 65 and older. The survey is online at aarp.org.


get more stories like this via email

Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)

Environment

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…


Environment

HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …

Social Issues

PIERRE, S.D. -- Supporters of establishing recreational marijuana in South Dakota say they're pouring all their energy into a new ballot initiative…


Farming is Virginia's largest private industry, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …

Social Issues

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Paige Bethmann and Ku Stevens speak in between interviews at his house on the Yerington Paiute Reservation in Nevada. (Zack Kiszka)

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…

Social Issues

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A new report ranks Maryland as one of the worst states in providing support for young victims of sex trafficking. While Maryland …

Environment

CASS LAKE, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners have stored their watercraft for the winter. But in the coming weeks, some lakes will be getting new …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021