FCC Landline Shutdown Is Bad for California Residents
In August of last year, an FCC law (https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-grants-relief-outdated-burdensome-phone-industry-regulations) went into effect that allows telecom companies to replace their traditional copper-wire landline phone service with internet-based phone service.
The FCC Order states that maintaining the infrastructure for landline service is too costly and hinders the transition to the next generation of communication technology.
However, this decision poses a significant problem for Santa Barbara’s most vulnerable populations. There are still around 4.5 million seniors in California (https://www.communityphone.org/landline/ca#landline-usage-statistics) who rely on landline service, and this decision could have a negative impact on their communication needs.
For instance, my own parents struggle with using their cell phones, and their home internet is often unreliable. Depending on their internet connection for primary communication would be risky, especially if it goes out during a power outage.
The FCC’s decision prioritizes the profits of telecom giants over the needs of rural communities, senior citizens, and those with poor internet access. Therefore, the state government must act to defend the interests of these groups. If the federal government does not step in, the California state legislature must do so to ensure that no one gets left behind in this rush toward progress.