Landline deregulation will hurt seniors
Published 12:02 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2023
I strongly oppose the shutdown of landline phone service in Oxford and encourage our local leaders to look out for our vulnerable senior population and stand up to the big telecom companies.
My father relies on his landline to communicate. Though cell phones and internet-based phone services have replaced landlines, he still needs his old-fashioned landline as much as he ever has.
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That’s why I was shocked to learn that the FCC deregulated the telecom industry last August and now allows phone companies to shut down copper wire landline service completely, replacing it with internet-based alternatives.
While the rise of mobile and internet-based communication technologies offers undeniable advantages, we cannot disregard the unique benefits landline systems provide to almost 382 thousand seniors in Mississippi like him. These time-tested systems have been lifelines during emergencies or power outages when cell networks falter. Their familiarity and ease of operation help folks like my father, who may feel uncomfortable using smartphones or internet-based phone services to stay connected.
The FCC may not look out for seniors in Mississippi, but our local officials should. If there’s anything that can be done to require phone companies operating in Oxford to provide good old-fashioned landline phone service, our legislators should do it.
I’m not a stick in the mud – I understand that landlines are going the way of the dodo. But there must be a way to find balance in progress. By embracing balance, we can ensure that the unique benefits of these systems are not lost, fostering an inclusive, resilient, and connected society.