PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845
SB 88 = Less Reliable, Less Functional Home Phone Service For Rural Kentucky Posted: February 16, 2013
If Senate Bill 88, AT&Ts bill to deregulate basic home phone service, becomes law, AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell could stop offering stand-alone wireline basic local phone service to existing customers in smaller communities, and instead offer wireless home phone service as an “alternative voice service.” SB 88 GA Section 1(3)
Isn’t wireless service just as good? According to AT&T, it appears not.
Here’s what the AT&T “Wireless Customer Agreement” says about the wireless service reliability and functionality:
“AT&T’s wireless services are not equivalent to wireline Internet.” Section 4.1.
“We do not guarantee you uninterrupted service or coverage. We cannot assure you that if you place a 911 call you will be found.” Section 4.1.
“AT&T does not represent that the WHP [Wireless Home Phone] Service will be equivalent to landline service. Because the WHP service uses a wireless network, you may experience occasional service limitations inherent to wireless service, e.g. dropped calls.” Section 5.14.
“WHP Service is compatible with home answering machines but may not support your fax machine, alarm services including medical alert services, dial-up internet service, or credit card machines.” Section 5.14.
So why does it make any sense for Kentuckians, who now enjoy access to basic local exchange phone service the reliability of which is assured by the Public Service Commission’s regulatory powers over AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell, to give up that right in return for less-reliable, non-equivalent wireless service that may not provide effective 911 and home alarm support?
AT&T's "Wireless Customer Agreement" can be read in its entirety at www.att.com/shopo/legalterms.html.