Friday, December 6, 2013

Michigan could ditch landlines by 2017

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Legislation in Michigan has passed the Senate that will set the phasing out of landlines in Michigan into motion, Click On Detroit reports. The bill, which heads to the House next, plans to eliminate landline service in Michigan by 2017.

Traditionally, landline service has been subsidized by the government, viewed as an essential service. But the market in Michigan seems to indicate otherwise: landline customers have dropped by more than 60% in the last decade, from 6.5 million in 2002 to 2.6 million in 2012, according to the FCC. Meanwhile cell phone users have more than doubled from 4.5 million in 2002 to more than 9 million people in 2012.

Senate bill 636 removes the requirement that at least two other providers offer comparable service in an area before a phone company can discontinue service there.

Groups like the AARP have opposed the plan, citing concerns that affordable service and access to medical alert systems could be compromised.

Another part of the country was forced to experiment with eliminating landlines when Hurricane Sandy destroyed the system on New York's Fire Island. Initially, Verizon opted to not restore the system, instead installing a wireless system called Voice Link that connected house phones to the Internet. Fire Islanders complained that Voice Link offered "all the problems of a cellphone system, but none of the advantages." Verizon since reversed course and offered a fiberoptic plan in addition to Voice Link.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation