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AT&T Might Pull The Plug On Landline Service In Illinois
Illinois passed a bill that could abolish AT&T's obligation to provide the state's citizens with landline telephone services.
The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill July 2 that could allow AT&T to phase out its landline services in the state, but the FCC has yet to approve the law.
AT&T Illinois president Paul La Schiazza said that the company won't be pulling the plug anytime soon.
“It's important for our Illinois customers to know that traditional landline phone service from AT&T is not going away anytime soon,” Paul La Schiazza, AT&T Illinois president, said in a statement.
The Illinois law, House Bill 1811, requires AT&T to give its affected customers 60 days notice before terminating service. However, some fear the bill could harm some of the state's landline customers, many of whom are elderly and live in rural areas.
“If AT&T succeeds in ending traditional landline phone service, we think that will hurt people — particularly seniors and those with medical conditions — who depend on a landline as their most reliable link to vital services,” said Jim Chilsen, spokesman of the Citizens Utility Board, an Illinois nonprofit group.
“Plain old telephone service” – or POTS – has been around since 1876, making it the oldest network in the world. Until recently, federal law has prohibited telecommunications companies from discontinuing their services:
No carrier shall discontinue, reduce, or impair service to a community, or part of a community, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that neither the present nor future public convenience and necessity will be adversely affected thereby...
But maintaining these networks is costly, and AT&T argues that terminating landline services would make the company more competitive and better able to bring modern services to its customers.
“We still are required to provide an old-style, voice-only telephone line to every customer in our service territory,” La Schiazza told the Chicago Tribune. “No competitor is required to do that. They can pick and choose whatever customers they want to serve and they can use whatever available technology that they want to.”
In recent years, companies like AT&T and Verizon have sought ways to phase out landline services as more customers switch to cellphones. AT&T has already helped pass similar legislation that abolishes, at least partially, its obligation to provide landline services in 19 of the 21 states where it’s the legacy telephone service provider, with California as the holdout.
Here's a map of the states where AT&T is the legacy telephone carrier.
In Illinois, only about 10 percent of residents have landlines, and AT&T said that its losing about 5,000 customers per week.
“The new Illinois law helps plan for the eventual transition to only the technologies that customers overwhelmingly prefer today — modern landline service and wireless service,” La Schiazza said. “While the timetable for that transition is undetermined at this time, it could take a number of years.”
AT&T needs approval from the FCC before it can terminate landline services. Chilsen and representatives from AARP said they intend to fight the law at the national level.
“AT&T still must get final Federal Communications Commission approval to end traditional home phone service, so CUB will do everything it can to protect landline customers as this battle moves to Washington,” Chilsen said.
The elimination of landline service could also have other adverse effects. Older technologies still being used today by some – fax machines, burglar alarms – were designed for POTS, and "they don't play well with IP-based phone adapters like AT&T's Mobile Premises Services," as Chris Ziegler wrote for The Verge.
Still, it takes a lot of money and copper to maintain the country's century-old landline network. A modern replacement would be expensive, but it'd likely be a cheaper and more efficient solution over the long term.
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.
- Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
- As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
- The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
China moves to Russia and India takes over Canada. The Swiss get Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi India. And the U.S.? It stays where it is.
What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?
A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.
- The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
- After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
- The study shows how modern techniques can help scientists learn about the ancient origins of diseases.
Centrosaurus apertus fibula
Royal Ontario Museum<p>In the recent study, the team used a combination of techniques to analyze the fibula, including taking CT scans, casting the bone and studying thin slices of it under a microscope. The analysis suggested that the dinosaur likely suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects modern humans, typically young adults.</p><p>For further evidence, the team compared the damaged fibula to a healthy fibula from a dinosaur of the same species, and also to a fibula that belonged to a 19-year-old human who suffered from osteosarcoma. Both comparisons supported the osteosarcoma diagnosis.</p>
Evans et al.<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The shin bone shows aggressive cancer at an advanced stage," Evans said in a <a href="https://www.rom.on.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/rare-malignant-cancer-diagnosed-in-a-dinosaur" target="_blank">press release</a>. "The cancer would have had crippling effects on the individual and made it very vulnerable to the formidable tyrannosaur predators of the time."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The fact that this plant-eating dinosaur lived in a large, protective herd may have allowed it to survive longer than it normally would have with such a devastating disease."</p><p>The fossilized fibula was originally unearthed in a bonebed alongside the remains of dozens of other <em>Centrosaurus </em><em>apertus</em>, suggesting the dinosaur didn't die from cancer, but from a flood that swept it away with its herd.</p>
Dinosaur fibula; the tumor mass is depicted in yellow.
Royal Ontario Museum/McMaster University<p>The new study highlights how modern techniques can help scientists learn more about the evolutionary origins of modern diseases, like cancer. It also shows that dinosaurs suffered through some of the same terrestrial afflictions humans face today.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Dinosaurs can seem like mythical creatures, but they were living, breathing animals that suffered through horrible injuries and diseases," Evans said, "and this discovery certainly makes them more real and helps bring them to life in that respect."</p>
Join the lauded author of Range in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell was not able to make the live stream due to scheduling issues. Fortunately, David Epstein was able to jump in at a moment's notice. We hope you enjoy this great yet unexpected episode of Big Think Live. Our thanks to David and Maria for helping us deliver a show, it is much appreciated.