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Controversial Michigan Legislation Will Allow For Discontinuation Of Land Line Service

phone Ralph Orlowski Getty
Ralph Orlowski/Getty

Telephone land line service may soon be a thing of the past in Michigan.

My husband and I argued about our land line service just a few weeks ago. I was looking for a way to carve some money from our monthly expenses, and thought giving up our land line would be a great place to start. He had an absolute fit and started to yell about giving up a phone number that had belonged to his parents and other reasons as to why we should keep it. I pointed out that every one in our house has a cell phone and so do most of the people we know. I lost the battle, or just gave up. We still have our land line service.

That may change however, as Michigan legislation proposes that telephone providers should have the ability to discontinue land line services. Senate Bill 636 moved through the Michigan House easily on Tuesday with a vote of 71-39. It has already passed in the Senate with a vote of 71-4. With some fine tuning from the Senate, the proposal could be on Governor Snyder’s desk for a signature soon.

People using land line service in Michigan has dropped significantly. 2001 reported 6.8 million users compared to last year’s number of 2.6 million.

Telephone providers like AT&T say the new law would eliminate a lot of their red tape.

The AARP does not support the legislation, and says the bill does not protect it’s customers. Law enforcement officials worry that many people will lose their access to their medical and emergency services.

Michigan residents acknowledge that the switch to cell phones only will probably happen eventually, but many people who live in the state’s rural areas do rely on their land lines, as do the elderly and disabled. Others say that even though they rely on cell phones, this is another right that is being taken away, thanks to the state of Michigan.

Residents that will still want land line service would have to get an internet-provided phone line (VolP) if they have access to broadband.

How do you feel? Are we losing a valuable service because of our lawmakers?

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