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Landlines can be a lifeline

AT&T is salivating at the chance to cut the cord on landline telephones. The company is asking Illinois lawmakers to drop the legal requirement that it continue to make this service available to anyone who wants it. The company argues that the money saved on maintaining the old copper wire system could be better spent on improving technologies of the future.

But hold the line; not so fast.

We understand that the number of people with a landline is rapidly dwindling, but in Illinois about 1.3 million people still have them. They are inexpensive compared with the wireless alternatives. And they are as reliable. Power’s out? You can still make a call. Have an in-home alarm system or a medical device that is remotely monitored? A landline is still the best option.

And landlines can literally be a lifeline for people in rural areas, who may not be able to get reception other ways.

There’s no doubt that at some point landlines will be a thing of the past – but that day is still five or 10 years away.