Landline Phones Disappearing in These 20 States

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woman and phone
Pablo Calvog /

If you live in any of the U.S. states where AT&T is the primary phone carrier — prepare for a big change: Landline phone service might be going the way of the dinosaur.

According to the Chicago Tribune, state legislatures in 20 of those 21 states have given AT&T the OK to end landline service in their states so the telecommunications company can focus and invest more in wireless or internet-based phone networks. California is now the only holdout among states where AT&T is the legacy phone carrier.

In 2014, 2 in 5 U.S. households were mobile-only. Today, a majority of Americans (52 percent) live in cellphone-only households.

Paul La Schiazza, AT&T Illinois president, tells the Tribune:

“We’re investing in a technology that consumers have said they don’t want anymore, and wasting precious hundreds of millions of dollars that could be going to the new technologies that would do a better job of serving customers.”

Opponents of ending landline service say the move unfairly takes aim at America’s seniors, who disproportionately depend on their landline phone. Jim Chilsen is spokesman for the Citizens Utility Board, an Illinois nonprofit watchdog group that opposes AT&T’s plan to ditch the landline in the state. He tells the Tribune:

“Many seniors have told us that they trust landline service more than any other option. A landline doesn’t go out in an internet or power outage, it doesn’t need to be charged, it doesn’t need a battery backup, and it doesn’t leave 911 dispatchers guessing.”

The Illinois bill still awaits federal regulatory approval and the governor’s signature. If it gets final approval there, AT&T will be able to cancel customers’ landline service with 60 days of notice, the Tribune reports.

According to CBS, these are now the 20 states whose lawmakers voted to allow AT&T to end landline service:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Junking your landline telephone is one of MTN contributor Nancy Dunham’s tips to “Save Money (and Space) by Purging Old Technology from Your Life.”

Cut your landline and save an estimated $50-plus a month. (You really don’t need it. Promise.)

How do you feel about the demise of traditional landline phone service? Sound off below or on Facebook.

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