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Ohio Senator Frank LaRose (R) & Senate Bill 271 could do away with landlines


I have a cell phone I use when away, but I prefer my land line!
 Guess what?   I'm NOT A Senior Citizen ~


Save the Landlines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Contact your Senator in Ohio!
With the steady stream of innovations to wireless phones, many companies are regarding the traditional landline as obsolete.
That's the basis behind proposed legislation in the Ohio General Assembly that would allow companies to discontinue basic phone service and be exempt from quality standards set forth by Senate Bill 162, also known as the Ohio Telecom Modernization Act, passed in 2009.
The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 271, is in committee before the Ohio House of Representatives after being approved by the senate. By being exempt from Senate Bill 162, companies can avoid stipulations such as repairing outages within 72 hours and installation of new service within five business days.
"In some ways you realize that markets are constantly changing. Fifteen years ago the prevalence of cell phones and the fact that cell phones might replace landlines was not necessarily conceivable," said Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta.
The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Frank LaRose, of Fairlawn, has told The Associated Press the purpose of the bill is to allow companies to invest in high-speed services.
Charles Moses, president of the Ohio Telecom Association, which represents companies like AT&T and Frontier Communications, and supports the bill, said the bill modernizes Ohio's telecommunications law and responds to increased competition in the marketplace.
The bill addresses Carrier of Last Resort (COLR) obligations that previously required franchises to serve everyone who wanted service in a franchise territory.
The Ohio Consumers Counsel and AARP Ohio are both working with legislators to refine the proposed bill.
"There is clearly still a need for landline service, as just kind of a backup if not the main source of telephone calls," Thompson said.
Senior citizens are one of the groups most affected by the loss of basic landline service, the OCC and AARP say.  source

Comments

Anonymous said…
I work for a land-line telephone company. What the detractors of this bill don't realize is that land-line telephone service is not profitable anymore and land-line telcos are struggling to keep up with broadband competition to gain revenue where it is lost with land-line service. The result is we have 20-30 year old equipment in the same rural areas you want to support for phone service; equipment that is now failing due to its age. At many sites, there are barely enough lines (20-40) being given service to make it worthwhile. In a day and age where there is wide distribution of wireless service, there is no excuse for not being able to have reliable phone service. To not pass SB 271 is to cause telephone companies to go bankrupt, especially those that have no wireless services to keep them afloat. Land-line service companies without wireless services are in a position where they are being choked out by competition because regulation keeps a tight grip and doesn't allow restructuring for competitive services. Part of the restructuring that needs to happen is letting go of land-line services so that monies can be invested in new technology that is more reliable and provides better service. Right now we're hanging from a cliff by our fingernails. I understand the need for the elderly to have phone service, but would you rather bankrupt a company that is providing land-line services (and not wireless)? The right choice is to remove regulation and give us breathing room to make progress. Consumers will be better off for it and I may still have a job in 5 years.
Anonymous said…
"...there is no excuse for not being able to have reliable phone service."

Are you kidding me? There are plenty of areas in Ohio where there is no reliable wireless service. If phone companies withdraw their land line service from these areas because they are unprofitable before adequate wireless coverage is established, then there will be significant enough percentages of the rural population without any service at all.

Therefore, the only excuse for not having reliable phone service, as the previous commenter states, would be because the phone companies no longer provide it.

You also need to understand that the wireless infrastructure is less reliable than the POTS. Case-in-point: the storms that ran through Ohio in early July, knocking out power to millions. Wireless communications were knocked out for a time, making cell phones useless for emergency use.

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