AARP stands firmly opposed to the recent decision by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to allow Verizon to deregulate landline services for New Jersey consumers. This decision flies in the face of public interest. Belonging to a single-income family and having friends in small underserved communities, the deal will most likely impact public affordability and safety, due to higher costs, lower quality for phone service, and less accountability for the company.
I am deeply concerned for the numerous Verizon customers, such as my own grandmother, who are senior citizens, and who depend on landlines to support pacemakers, and medical alert and home security systems, and who also depend on landlines to connect with 911 for emergency services. In addition, deregulation of landline services is a concern for every single New Jersey resident who has to stay connected to their loved ones and emergency services during severe weather situations.
Rather than allowing it to fade away, the BPU needs to preserve and protect basic phone service for the hundreds of thousands of seniors and other residents who rely on landline service as a lifeline to family, medical and other life necessities.
Tasneem Z. Faridi