Don’t let Fairpoint leave you speechless

8 years ago

To The Editor:

AARP Maine believes no matter where you live in Maine, you have a right to a reliable, affordable landline phone. Fairpoint Communications, the company required by state law to provide this vital service, is trying to wriggle out of this obligation. Don’t let them abandon rural Mainers, many of whom are elderly, poor or disabled.

Land lines are lifelines. The loss of this service could affect nearly 25,000 residents. According to an April 2015 Critical Insights survey, 67 percent of Mainers are opposed to Fairpoint’s proposed legislation. We have many neighbors who rely heavily, or solely on basic landline service for emergencies, medical monitoring of pacemakers, cardiac defibrillators, and for keeping connected to families and communities. The loss of the service could be devastating!

Cell phones are not the answer. Many elders don’t have them, don’t want them, and can’t afford them. Even when available, cell phone service is far from reliable, especially in rural areas. Faced with emergencies, extreme weather, malfunctioning medical devices, Mainers, no matter where they live, need to count on a reliable landline phone, even when the power goes out.

Please join AARP and many community organizations in working to protect access to basic landline service for all Mainers. Contact your legislators; tell them not to let Fairpoint off the hook. Urge them to vote against proposed legislation that would eliminate your basic landline service. They will have an opportunity to vote on this issue in the next few months. Ask them to ensure that rural voices will be heard.

You can also sign a petition on line:

Gail Maynard
AARP Maine Advocacy Volunteer