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Each month we’re in the routine of paying our phone and cable bills.  But what if one month, you saw those bills increase drastically, with no way to fight it?

On November 21, AARP New Jersey will be at the Statehouse in Trenton continuing its opposition to the Telecommunications Deregulation bill, S-2664.  Senate Bill 2664 could hurt millions of New Jersey consumers.

In other states, where a similar legislation was enacted, consumers experienced steep rate increases.  For many with a low or fixed income, basic telephone service became unaffordable.  Basic landline service is vital to stay connected, especially after power outages from recent storms.    Since copper wire lines conduct electricity, they will still work if the provider’s facilities are still operating.  They are more reliable than fiber optic phone lines.   

The bill could deregulate protections relating to quality of service and billing.  This includes removing the power the Board of Public Utilities has over corporations to protect consumers.  Bill 2664 could leave consumers defenseless in regard to what they pay for services or what services they can choose.

I urge members and all of New Jersey to join AARP in its opposition of S-2664, and opt for the more consumer-friendly, alternative bill, S-3062.

Liz Swern

Communications Intern

AARP New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ