The wiring is in the wall. Err, you know what I meant…
With traditional landline service dwindling to less than 10 percent of Illinois households in its territory, AT&T is pushing legislation in Springfield that, pending Federal Communications Commission approval, would allow it to unplug the aging voice-only network and focus on the wireless and internet-based phone offerings that have supplanted it.
…If it passes, the Illinois telecommunications modernization bill would take effect July 1, giving AT&T the right to cancel the old landline service with 60 days’ notice. Existing customers would have the opportunity to appeal the decision to state regulators.
While AT&T ultimately needs approval from the FCC to abandon a long-standing obligation to maintain its “plain old telephone service,” it has passed similar legislation in 19 of the 21 states where it is the legacy telephone carrier, with California the only other holdout.
AT&T is hoping to have all of the states on board before moving forward at the FCC, La Schiazza said.
A previous measure didn’t get to a vote in Illinois two years ago, but the current version made it through a state Senate committee in March, and La Schiazza is optimistic that with ongoing changes in consumer phone use, sentiment has shifted toward passage.
(click here to continue reading AT&T ready to hang up on traditional landline phone service in Illinois – Chicago Tribune.)
POTS lines are more reliable, and at least in my experience, have better audio quality than cellular services. I am also genuinely curious as to how AT&T plans to handle this aspect:
While more than 70 percent of 911 calls come from wireless phones, according to the FCC, they present challenges for emergency personnel to pinpoint location.
Some medical monitoring devices and home alarm systems only work on traditional landlines. AT&T said it will certify that “reliable replacement options” are available before retiring the old network.
Julie Vahling, associate state director of AARP Illinois, said seniors shouldn’t be forced to switch until alternative phone services prove as reliable as traditional landlines.
“I think AT&T’s goal is to put everybody on a wireless service,” Vahling said. “I don’t care if it is 140 years old, (traditional landline service) is the most reliable form of communication that we have right now.”
My building has 2 AT&T landlines connected to the elevator (one is a backup) for emergency calls to the fire department, plus a landline connection to our building’s fire panel. I suppose we’ll have to upgrade this equipment at some time in the future, I wonder how many downtown buildings will have to do so as well?