As phone companies move customers to bundles of shiny new technologies, the essential core values of public safety, universal access, competitive choice and consumer protection must be preserved. TURN and our allies, including Washington D.C. based Public Knowledge, are spearheading national efforts to make sure no customers are left behind as the big telcos push to replace their reliable copper networks with less dependable, more profitable, fiber and cable ones.
- We recently won a huge victory, convincing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate the need for all customers to have:
-Protections against phone companies discontinuing services that they depend on absent a showing that a comparable alternative is readily available.
- -Reliable, consistent access to 911 in power outages, including for customers who transition to cable or fiber based services that rely on back up power for their phones.
The FCC’s approval of our request launches two rulemakings intended to ensure consumer protection, public safety and customers’ right to choose reliable phone service that functions during power outages.
“This opens the way for us to expand on what we’ve won in California on a national level, including disclosures on the need for back up power with VoIP and other fiber services, said TURN Telecom Director Regina Costa. “Modern technologies require modern consumer protections. Rather than abandoning the quality standards customers enjoyed with landlines, those standards should be extended to include cell phones, VoIP and other new technologies. And customers should have the choice to keep their copper until the alternatives offered by the phone companies are just as good.”