Nov 21, 2014
Proposed FCC Rule Enhances Public Safety and Consumer Protection, says AARP
FCC Action Would Protect Older Households in the Transition

WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued today by Joyce Rogers, AARP Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, following Federal Communications Commission approval of a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” to regulate the telephone industry’s transition from traditional technology to the next-generation telephone system:

“We’re pleased that the FCC’s proposed rule follows a path which AARP has long supported: maintaining essential capabilities and functions of the existing landline network – especially for established communities and long-time residents.

“Older households are at particular risk in an unregulated transition environment. Older households, which disproportionately continue to maintain phone service through landlines, rely on health monitoring and other safety features supported by traditional telephone services.

“They are also more likely to live on fixed incomes, with little ability to absorb price increases in basic services. Many live in communities that are currently underserved by next generation networks, and may never be fully served if landlines are discontinued.

“This proposal ensures that consumers are treated fairly without standing in the way of the telecommunications industry’s technological advancements.”

Rogers noted that today’s proposed rule incorporates three key objectives requested by AARP in its Nov. 14 letter to the FCC:

  • Access for every consumer to quality phone service in emergencies and natural disasters.
  • Access to affordable, reliable phone service, regardless of the technology employed to deliver voice communications.
  • A federal enforcer who can ensure basic consumer protections and a fair hearing of complaints.

AARP also said it is monitoring a separate proposed rule on 911 governance and reliability. “We will closely review the impact on consumer protection and safety of a rule which regulates location accuracy for mobile telephones,” said Rogers.

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*Note to editors and reporters — Prior relevant AARP filings with the FCC:
AT&T Trials Proposal, April 10, 2014.
PS Docket Nos. 13-239 & 11-60, Jan. 17, 2014.
AT&T and NTCA Petitions, Jan. 28, 2013.

 

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About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more atwww.aarp.org.​

CONTACT:
Mark Bagley, 202-434-2504, mbagley@aarp.org, @AARPMedia