For Immediate Release:
Dec. 5, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Murray
LANSING, Mich.—Legislation that increases consumer protections and ensures that every Michigan resident who wants a home phone will be able to have one was approved by the Michigan Senate on Thursday.
Senate Bill 636 would update Michigan regulations to make it easier for phone companies to invest in new, more efficient communications services.
“Like many of my constituents, my number one concern was with the safety of our residents, especially our seniors. Regardless of the mode, it is important for everyone to have access to emergency services and with this legislation individuals will be able to maintain that vital connection,” said Colbeck, R-Canton. “I am satisfied that this measure provides for proper safeguards for individuals and moves our infrastructure forward.”
SB 636 establishes a three-year transition period for changing over to new telecommunications technologies. Beginning in 2017, telecommunications companies can begin to move from traditional landlines to phone service through the internet. Consumers will be able to keep their home phone and phone number. The legislation also provides a mechanism for maintaining traditional landlines in areas where new technology is not yet available. Seniors and those in rural populations will have options to retain traditional telephone service and there will be no impact on 911 calls.
“Technology is a constantly changing field,” said state Sen. Nofs, R-Battle Creek, the bill’s sponsor. “New and innovative technology brought us the telephone in the 19th century and new and innovative technology is improving telecommunications in the 21st century. This legislation establishes a timeline for changing over to new technology and ensures that people can keep their home phone. This legislation will not remove landlines, it will modernize them.”
SB 636 now advances to Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration