by Evelyn Liebman
Telephone service is regulated to ensure that everyone, has access to affordable, reliable and quality service. Verizon has accused AARP of misunderstanding their Voice Link product that the company wants to force customers to accept in lieu of traditional telephone service. We don’t and the company is wrong.
Verizon has an obligation to provide affordable, quality telephone service to all New Jerseyans, regardless of where they live. If Voice Link is an OK substitute for the service we have a right to expect, the jury is still out. No independent regulator has determined that Voice Link provides adequate service and this is why AARP calls for an investigation into Verizon’s unilateral decision not to rebuild traditional phone service in storm damaged areas.
AARP has many concerns about Voice Link – as do scores of elected officials, first responders and consumers stuck with the service. There are serious questions about Voice Link’s reliability during power outages and it does not support medical monitoring systems, burglar alarms and certain communications equipment for the impaired and homebound elderly. Also, Voice Link is an unregulated telephone service – which means consumers could see their bills skyrocket.
Evelyn Liebman is the Associate State Director for Advocacy for AARP New Jersey.
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