Statement By CUB Executive Director David Kolata On Veto Of SB 1839

Contact:
Jim Chilsen, chilsen@citizensutilityboard.org, (312) 513-1784

CHICAGO, June 30, 2017—We thank Gov. Bruce Rauner for his veto of Senate Bill 1839. This legislation would have hurt people who depend on a landline as their most reliable link to vital services. Also, SB 1839 did nothing to require AT&T to modernize its network, and it would have pushed the state of Illinois out of the discussion of how we build a positive telecom future. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to preserve this veto and begin a new, pro-consumer discussion about how to improve telecommunications in the state and protect our most vulnerable phone customers.

All Illinois consumers should visit www.SaveOurPhoneService.com today to send a message to the General Assembly opposing an override of the veto.

Background

*Senate Bill 1839 would abolish the state requirement that AT&T offer traditional landline phone service. That would set in motion a process that would eventually allow the company to send “cease to offer” notices to its 1.2 million business and residential landline customers in Illinois.

*The legislation follows a national business model for AT&T, which has made about $58 billion in profits over the past five years. The company is pushing customers onto services that are better for its profit margins, but tend to be less reliable, like wireless and Internet-based phones.

CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog group. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more details, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB’s award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.