AARP Lines Up to Prevent Verizons Landline Cuts

The AARP is among a handful of consumer-advocacy groups trying to stop the big carriers from shifting customers away from traditional landlines until the issue is studied more carefully.

Members of the association, all donned in red, rallied at the New Jersey Statehouse this week to pressure lawmakers there to slow the process.

The issue in the Garden State stems from the high costs to rebuild copper networks in areas where Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc a couple of years ago. Instead, Verizon wants to offer a service known as Voice Link, which makes calls on the Verizon Wireless network via wired and cordless phones, The Asbury Park Press noted. The AARP wants a one-year delay on copper replacement in New Jersey because the service isn’t compatible with many security devices or medical monitoring devices.

This is only one part of a larger issue. The major carriers are working on a transition to all-IP networks, which would force landline users to adopt IP phones or go wireless-only. AT&T has said it wants to make the full transition by 2020. That’s drawn concern from groups such as the AARP, which want to make sure the issue is completely vetted before consumers find themselves behind the eight ball.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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