David Cay Johnston's business column " Analysis: This could be end to phone in every home " (April 1 and TribLIVE.com) is misplaced nostalgia for an era that technology has long ended. Contrary to his suggestions, consumers have a number of choices for their "home" communications needs, and voice service over a traditional landline is just one of them.
For example, many are simply "cutting the cord" and going wireless. As of June 2011, more than 31 percent of U.S. households no longer used a wireline connection. Consumers have other options, as well. Cable companies and other phone companies offer wireline voice services, often over a broadband connection via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Customers can also choose purely Internet-based tools, such as Skype. The FCC has reported that traditional wireline phone lines are decreasing, on average, by about 8 percent annually, and about a third of all homes are now connected to VoIP.
Verizon has supported legislation proposed in several states that would modernize ancient regulatory rules for phone service. With competition and many changes in communications, it does not make sense to have rules and regulations created when consumers' only option was a rotary phone offered by a single phone company. These rules add costs for consumers and stifle innovation.
Verizon is committed to competing in the marketplace, and we support updating outdated rules and regulations. There are new and better services available, and we need the flexibility to deliver them to our customers.
Carl E. Erhart
The writer is area vice president for Verizon.