Illinois lawmakers OK plan to ditch landlines, hike 911 fees

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have approved a plan that would raise phone fees for 911 services and allow AT&T to disconnect traditional landlines.

The proposal lets the utility giant free itself from a legal obligation to provide landline service in areas with old technology. AT&T says it affects about 10 percent of its customers and the plan would allow more investment in wireless and internet-based phone networks.

Legislators approved the measure this week. Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's reviewing the bill but has "serious concerns" about raising fees.

Opponents, including AARP Illinois, say landlines are vital for older residents to socialize and seek emergency assistance. They estimate 1.2 million people would be affected.

Proponents say it's time for Illinois to modernize telecommunications.

Several states have approved similar measures.

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