dslreports logo

story category
AT&T Pushes Bill That Will Kill DSL, POTS in Michigan
by Karl Bode 12:34PM Friday Mar 14 2014 Tipped by flinchlock See Profile
As we've frequently discussed, AT&T and Verizon are in the process of going state by state gutting consumer protections on DSL and landlines in preparation of hanging up on users they don't want to upgrade. This has been pitched by the carriers as part of the "IP transition" and states are often told by killing consumer protections they'll see better and greater networks than ever.

In reality, many of these impacted users will lose DSL and POTS and only have the fixed-line choice of cable broadband or heavily-capped wireless. AT&T's latest success on this front is in Michigan, where they've lobbied SB 0636 to a successful 71-39 victory in the Michigan House.

While AT&T is trying to argue that disconnecting users from DSL and POTS will somehow create more connectivity, a small number of groups and individuals appear to realize that losing DSL and POTS will leave them with fewer choices:
AARP spokesman Mark Hornbeck said in an email that the organization "remains concerned that some people could be left without affordable, reliable phone service when this bill takes effect. Also, it does not provide the consumer protections that are in current telecommunications law." AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray applauded the move, which he said will help the communications company transition to a network built on Internet protocol and wireless technology.
The problem is that many users are clearly still using those DSL lines, contrary to what AT&T-paid editorialists would have you believe. Severing them without offering a fixed-line alternative will leave those users hostage to cable companies facing even less competition than they did before. That means users are stuck between paying more than ever for cable broadband (assuming you can get it), or signing up for very expensive wireless with low usage caps (again, assuming you can get it).

128 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments


·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

reply to jmn1207

Re: I understand why

CON (for AT&T)
The technicians that maintain the lines are often in unions.
and thats a CON? , if it wasnt for their Union, they would be doing crap work like most of the local incumbent cable companies, getting paid by the job.
AT&T and Verizon halted Uverse and FiOS due to NOTHING BUT CORPORATE GREED, to essentially rape people with their wireless products. If you snapped your fingers and removed the union, it would not change their plans one bit.

Sick and tired of the anti-union bullshit as if these workers are rich. MOST are hard working people that dedicate 25-40 years of their lives for those corporations. Worry about Randall Stephenson getting $25 million a year.
Thank you for your tiny contribution racing us all to the bottom.


Phoenix, AZ

6 recommendations

reply to tshirt
Except for the fact when munis try to do their own fiber to mitigate this issue, AT&T and Verizon go crying to the FCC because they try to take their business - business they clearly do not want anyway.

This whole mess is just screwed up and until the government makes it a priority to get some sort of fiber everywhere like they did with Electricity and basic telephone, nothing will change with our countries shitty infrastructure because yet again private industry has proven they cannot be trusted with anything that actually might benefit their customers.

Wyoming, MI

2 recommendations

Hosing many senior citizens - again !

This will prove to be a nightmare for many senior citizens who rely on their landline. I'm referring to our current elders, age 65+ (emphasis on the "+" age) who just are NOT tech savvy. And many of them just can't AFFORD cell service.

Worse, many of them use those "help, I've fallen" buttons and they - by and large - do NOT work well with VOIP service. Only a couple of service providers offer that with cell service.

Michigan is again showing it's lack of concern/compassion/common sense in hosing senior citizens. Governor Nerd (Snyder) gave massive tax cuts to businesses, while allowing seniors (and others) to foot the bill with tax increases ala lack of property tax credits, taxing pensions, etc.

Bah humbug to AT&T, sometimes known as the All Trials and Tribulations company.


Stanwood, MI

2 recommendations

reply to fg8578

Re: Techies argue to keep 100+ year old technology

The thing is that ATT is NOT replacing it with something better, faster, or even newer. (Fiber) In my case I suspect that in the end to get 1/2 way decent internet service I'm going to have to switch to a wisp such as CasAir. (casair.net)


Limestone, ME
·Pioneer Wireless

3 recommendations

I understand why

I know why phone companies want to give up on copper.
However, not replacing it with FIBER is where I get confused.

Its got a long lifespan
The Fiber portion, won't need to be upgraded, just TX/RX and related equipment
Fiber scales up for DECADES to come
Wireless CAN'T handle the demand of home internet users
Lower maintenance costs
Can lease LAST MILE for added revenue

Investors don't want to wait for the return