AT&T

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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.

The Illinois General Assembly voted to increase a fee on cell phone bills in order to fund 911 services.  

Negotiators involved with the legislation say Gov. Bruce Rauner tried to pull Republican support because he didn't want to give Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a victory. But GOP lawmakers voted in favor of the measure, which includes a fee increase in Chicago.

Rep. Chad Hays, R-Caitlin, said that, without the fee increase, 911 services would be on life support.

 

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Consumer rights groups in Illinois are leading the opposition to proposals before the state legislature that they say could end traditional landline phone service. They claim that AT&T wants to shift customers to more expensive plans. But the telecommunications company says that conclusion is not accurate.