There are actually people who don’t have cell phones in New Jersey and they rely on their landline phones to communicate. That’s the key reason a pair of lawmakers is sponsoring legislation trying to block phone companies from ending landline service for at least a year.

Ciaran Griffin, Getty Images

“There are still too many unanswered questions and too many scary scenarios to force this change on residents without looking at the potential impact,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton Square) in an emailed press release. “What happens in the case of a service disruption? What is a resident with no other means of communication to do then?”

The bill seeks to give the Board of Public Utilities one year to study the impact of eliminating landline service.

“Rather than plow ahead with these wireless alternatives, let’s first hear from residents and public safety and figure out what the potential repercussions are,” said Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-Somerset) in the same press release. “It’s best to find that out now, rather than later when it might be too late to turn back.”

The bill was cleared by the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. A date for a vote in full Assembly has not yet been scheduled.


(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)