Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) said that a widespread Verizon Wireless outage that began yesterday affecting many in the region underscores concerns about Verizon’s plan to discontinue traditional landline service in some 10th District communities.
“Many homeowners maintain traditional landlines as a backup for when cell service is unavailable in an emergency,” said Holzapfel. “It’s concerning that many of the same communities where Verizon plans to force homeowners with landlines onto a cellular service called Voice Link were among those that have had a major Verizon Wireless cellular service outage since yesterday.”
Holzapfel and his 10th District colleagues, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, sent a letter yesterday to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) asking for a review of Verizon’s plan to discontinue landline service in Mantoloking, Bay Head and part of Brick. They further asked the BPU to explore the option of requiring Verizon to wire these communities with fiber optics in order to ensure that all residents have adequate telephone services.
Their letter was planned and sent prior to learning of the Verizon Wireless outage that has affected those communities and many others.
“It’s unclear if homeowners would have had any capability to communicate or call for help if they had already been switched to Voice Link in a cellular service outage like the one we just experienced,” added Holzapfel. “This outage only adds to the growing list of concerns we have about Verizon’s plan to abandon its landline network in our communities.”
In its terms of service for Voice Link, Verizon states that the service is not compatible with fax machines, DVR services, credit card machines, medical alert or other monitoring services and high speed Internet services. Additionally, Voice Link may not be compatible with home security systems and, unlike traditional landlines, is dependent on the homeowner having power to function.