Hang Up on Big Telecom Deregulation

Posted on 03/21/2014 by | AARP Colorado | Comments

SingleGuyPhoneBankYour reliable landline phone service is at risk. The Colorado Legislature is considering four bills that could:

  • Make  it difficult – or impossible – for you to reach 911 in an emergency.
  • Raise your monthly phone bill.
  • Eliminate your ability to alert the Public Utility Commission if you have trouble with your phone service.

Call 1-800-485-9401 to let your State Representative know that your landline is your lifeline – and to oppose House Bills 1328 through 1331.

We know your landline phone service is your lifeline:

  • During emergencies and prolonged power outages.
  • To run medical monitoring equipment like pacemakers and defibrillators.
  • To run home security systems.
  • To stay connected to friends and family.

Today, alternative phone technologies do not provide all these services – and are not as reliable as traditional landline phone service. 

Yet, your reliable landline phone service is under attack by telephone and cable companies that claim they need to “modernize” telecommunications by deregulating all phone services in order to bring broadband to the state.

Here’s the reality:

  • HB14-1328, sponsored by Representatives Don Coram and Angela Williams, puts your landline at risk by taking the money used for landline maintenance and putting it into broadband service.  AARP supports broadband expansion, but not with the money used to maintain your reliable landline phone service.
  • HB14-1329, sponsored by Representatives Carole Murray and Angela Williams, would not regulate the telephone services offered by cable companies, called voice over internet protocol or VoIP. This means VoIP customers can’t report problems with their telephone service to Public Utility Commission.
  • HB14-1330, sponsored by Representative Angela Williams, changes telecommunications definitions and encourages the state to refrain from telephone regulation. Again, this means customers won’t be able to go to the Public Utility Commission for help.
  • HB14-1331, sponsored by Representatives Carole Murray and Angela Williams, would completely deregulate landline service in Colorado. In other states that have deregulated phone services, prices have increased      dramatically. For example, after deregulation in California the monthly cost of measured phone service increased by 260 percent.

Call 1-800-485-9401 to let your State Representive know your landline is your lifeline – and to oppose House Bills 1328-1331.

For more information on these bills and all the legislation AARP Colorado is tracking go to http://www.coloradocapitolwatch.com/bill-analysis/2299/2014/0/

[Photo courtesy of JLujan]