The New Jersey Senate is voting on S2664, which removes regulations for telephone, cable, and internet service providers. This bill will eliminate vital consumer protections. It is not only possible but extremely probable for prices to increase for consumers as a result of S2664. 17 out of the 20 states that have signed similar deregulation bills have seen the cost of these services rise. Illinois has seen a whopping 63% increase while California’s average cost of service rose 50% after deregulating these services.

Companies would not be required to provide basic services, allowing them to use higher rates and fewer choices for consumers. Moreover, there would be no standards for the quality of service received.

One of New Jersey’s goals is to promote dignified independent living for older adults. The results of this bill could be extremely debilitating to this cause.  If rates go and protections are eliminated, seniors simply may not be able to afford to live alone with dignity.

Call your Senator and urge him/her to vote no on S-2664. AARPNJ has set up a special hotline to reach legislators at 1-800-844-2272.

 

Jim Dieterle

AARP New Jersey Senior State Director

Plainsboro, NJ