NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A push by the nation's largest telecom providers to get rid of traditional landlines replacing them with an unreliable wireless system, drew the disdain of AARP, and now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has delivered a set of proposed rules to protect consumers in any transition.
In the wake of Sandy, many New Yorkers found the only phone service that worked for them was their landline. Early attempts by telecom providers to move to a wireless option to landlines would have left many consumers in limbo when it came to protections and guaranteed reliability. AARP says older consumers tend to keep their landlines due to affordability, compatibility with medical devices, home security, internet access and reliability during power outages.
Today, following the FCC's approval of a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" to regulate the telephone industry's transition from traditional technology to the next-generation telephone system, AARP commends the move for its consumer protections.
"Access to reliable and affordable phone lines isn't just an older New Yorker concern, it's a concern for all New Yorkers," said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York State. "Today's proposed rules will help ensure the needs and interests of New York consumers are protected."
AARP says older households are at particular risk in an unregulated transition environment as they disproportionately continue to maintain phone service through landlines, rely on health monitoring and other safety features supported by traditional telephone services.
AARP noted that today's proposed rule incorporates three key objectives requested by AARP in its Nov. 14 letter to the FCC:
- Access for every consumer to quality phone service in emergencies and natural disasters.
- Access to affordable, reliable phone service, regardless of the technology employed to deliver voice communications.
- A federal enforcer who can ensure basic consumer protections and a fair hearing of complaints.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
SOURCE AARP New York