The Illinois Telecommunications Act—legislation that protects your rights and keeps telephone rates down— is up for review at the end of the month, and legislators must determine to renew it as is, or change it.
Unlike CUB and other consumer advocacy groups, Big Telecom companies like AT&T and Frontier hope to see time run out on the important legislation. They want to add billions to their bottom lines by scrapping key consumer protections and killing affordable home phone service.
But cutting the cord on traditional home phone service could have major repercussions.
Illinois has up to 1 million residential landlines, and some of our most vulnerable citizens, including low-income families and seniors, depend on them as the most affordable and reliable lifeline to friends, employment opportunities and key services like 911.
If that’s not enough, Big Telecom also wants to end “Safe Harbor” local callings plans, such as AT&T’s Consumer’s Choice plans that CUB helped negotiate under a legal settlement with the phone giant. These are the best local deals in the state, and CUB estimates they have saved consumers millions of dollars.
By failing to renew the legislation, phone companies would no longer be tied to the “obligation to serve” requirement. That would allow them to completely abandon areas they deem “unprofitable” or force consumers onto calling options that tend to be less reliable.
Don’t let Big Telecom get away with this! Please, send a message to your legislators asking them to protect consumers and preserve the Illinois Telecom Act.