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East County News Service

July 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – AT&T wants to phase out landline phone service by 2020.  But as many San Diego County residents have learned during firestorms that burned cell phone towers and a multi-state blackout that crippled cell service, land lines are critical during such emergencies. Land lines also make it easier for people with disabilities such as the visually impaired or anyone who has suffered injury to easily access a land line to call for help.

Now a group calling itself Landline Yes has launched a petition on the Care2 site at asking Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission and CPUC commissioners, as well as Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, to save land line phone service and support an application by Frontier to acquire Verizon’s land line network, provided certain requirements are met .

The petition states:

AT&T has a policy named "2020" that states AT&T will phase out their copper networks or legacy systems, commonly known as a  landline telephone, in 2020.  Seniors, those with an EMF disability and those customers recognizing the need for a landline telephone in an emergency power outage want the continuation of the landline network.

Especially with the growing number of people who are sensitive to microwave radiation and the growing number of scientists that state EMF poses a threat to Earth's biological genome and a growing epidemic of cancer, the landline telephone must continue.  The FCC's proposal to have each purchased cell phone come with an 8-24 hour battery, so that cell phones can work during a short power outage, does not address longer power outages, the safety of cell phones nor the need for democratic choice.

Frontier has submitted an application for the acquisition of Verizon's landline network that will be voted on by the end of 2015.  We wholeheartedly support the approval of this acquisition, with the following conditions:

Frontier will properly maintain the copper network to provide reliable landline service.

Their rates will be comparable to existing landline and cell phone service.

Lifeline low rates will be available to qualified low-income individuals.


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