Imagine this. The roads in your town were all washed away by a major flood. Rather than fix them, your town decides to “upgrade” the way people get around. Cars are now banned. No longer tethered to ground, residents will take to the air, using a fleet of helicopters to get wherever they need to go. But there’s a catch. The helicopters often don’t start. They often can’t function in severe weather. For some reason, they can’t take people to the hospital. They aren’t “compatible” with that route they say. And when you most desperately need them, it’s a coin flip whether they will be there for you.
This doesn’t seem like an upgrade to us. But this is exactly the type of “upgrade” Verizon proposes for shore communities who lost their reliable, regulated landline telephone service during Sandy. The company proposes replacing that trusty dependable service with one called VoiceLink. This service often fails to work in extreme weather, is hit-or-miss when trying to dial 9-1-1, can’t connect to life-essential medical monitoring and home security systems, and that’s just the beginning of the long list of deficiencies of this product. AARP supports real upgrades, that make life easier. But upgrades that do less and leave people stranded during times of medical emergency? That’s no upgrade. Save our landlines. Save our lifelines.
AARP New Jersey