Consumer Advocacy Groups Oppose Telecommunications & CATV Legislation

By Zachary Fink

The AARP, New Jersey Citizen Action and other advocacy groups scheduled a press conference at the state house today to slam the bill known as the “Market Competition and Consumer Choice Act.”  Opponents of the bill say it will take oversight of landlines away from the Board of Public Utilities.  That could mean people would either pay higher rates, or they could lose their landlines all together since companies like Verizon would no longer be required to provide them.

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4 Responses to Consumer Advocacy Groups Oppose Telecommunications & CATV Legislation

  1. Pearl says:

    Whole lot of yelling for very little reason. I do not understand where AARP and the other group are coming from on this, with the business of consumers “paying the price.” Customers come out ahead when cable and phone companies are forced to provide decent service (i.e. NOT jacking up prices) or else choose the other guy. Also, as Mr. Fink says, the industry needs to be updated in this “time of transition”!!!

    • Lisa A says:

      I’m can’t speak to your experience with service, but I watch myself avoid calling Verizon to address problems because it is time-consuming and often requires a multitude of calls before getting any kind of satisfaction. I am still working on getting compensation for the hole Verizon drilled through a water pipe in my house when installing Fios. It took years but eventually the slow leak resulted in part of a wall giving way. You say choose the other guy if you’re dissatisfied. Have you ever had to change cable and phone companies? I have. It is a major undertaking and as noted above it is fraught with all sorts of potential hazards. The following quote is from an e-maiI I just received last night– ” I’m so crazed switching from Comcast to Verizon. I didn’t realize how much there was to do.” In our utlra-busy day to lives, who has time to do this

      AARP is providing a service for it’s members. Many people were not aware of this bill which is being fast tracked through the legislature. Yes, you are correct, some of the existing restrictions on the industry need updating but not at the expense of the consumer. Hooray for AARP and the other groups.

  2. Joseph Sullivan says:

    The last thing that the citizens of NJ need is to placed at the mercy of huge telecommunication companies. Landline phones are inherently more reliable and not subject to the power outages, bad reception, and other connectivity issues that plague cell phones. There is no reason for this bill except re-direct more $$$$$$ into the coffers of Verizon. The lobbyists from these companies are attempting to “buy” votes to impose deregulation so they may raise rates. This industry needs more regulation, not less.

  3. Aaron Siegel says:

    I’ll say that while I believe it would be highly unlikely that any telecom giant would do away with landlines, especially due to the use of these lines for brick and mortar commerce, the risk of it alone makes one shudder.

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