Questions answered about new landline phone law - WNEM TV 5

Questions answered about new landline phone law

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Now that Governor Rick Snyder has signed the so-called landline phone bill, what does it mean for residents? Some lawmakers and representatives from phone providers say don't believe what you've heard.

State Representative Pam Faris says she's been contacted by several residents, worried they would not be able to continue using their home phones. Faris held a town hall meeting at the Richfield Township Hall in Davison Wednesday so residents could pose their questions to representatives from phone providers including AT&T, Frontier Communications, CenturyLink and ADS.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there and we want to clear up some of that," stated Faris.

Rob Stewart from Frontier Communications says they are not looking to get rid of landlines. He says they just want to upgrade the technology.

"This law sets up a process for us to ask permission to transition your phone line from an analog world to a digital", said Stewart.

He says the transition will have little to no effect on customer's service.

"Just like going from dial up Internet to high speed Internet. The same thing as going from analog TV to digital. Our job is to make it transparent to the consumer and make sure it doesn't affect you at home," Stewart stated.

As for all the talk about landlines and home phones being phased out in Michigan…

"The reality is, they got it wrong," Stewart said.

Brian Norman of AT&T agreed.

"This does not eliminate your home phone service. It does not," Norman commented.

The new law takes effect in 2017. If a phone provider wanted to eliminate their landline service, the law requires that company to get permission first from the FCC and notify any customers who would be impacted. Before that company would be allowed to discontinue the service, another phone company would have to be willing to provide the service to that area.

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