AT&T is backing two bills in the Illinois General Assembly that the Citizen's Utility Board is against. S.B. 1381 and H.B. 2691 would kill traditional home phone service in Illinois, according to a spokesman with the utility watchdog, who says AT&T wants to force customers to use computer-based or wireless substitutes. Jim Chilsen of the Citizens Utility Board says there are millions of both residential and business landline customers across the state.
People who live in rural areas with spotty cell phone coverage could be affected, with their landline service made either unavailable or the price going up. The phone industry says there are many options now, including landline service from the unregulated cable TV providers.