MANTOLOKING - Verizon has announced that it won't restore land-based phone service in the shore community of Mantoloking following Superstorm Sandy, but one powerful group is trying to fight the move.
The AARP is pushing legislation that would "freeze" for one year the decision to not rebuild landline infrastructure in Mantoloking.
Instead of landline service, Verizon is offering up "Voice Link," an antennae that can be hooked onto homes to connect phones to wireless service. It's cheaper to maintain than traditional phone service that uses copper wiring.
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However, the AARP worries that Voice Link is unproven technology. "It's not as reliable if there are power outages," says Jeff Abramo, of AARP New Jersey. "Land line service, we know from our members who had no power for many days, their land lines worked."
The AARP also points out that Voice Link doesn't work with medical monitoring devices, Internet services or security services.
In response, Verizon told the AARP that decision would only affect homes in Mantoloking, a small shore community. Verizon insisted it has no plans to rebuild the lines or bring in a fiber optic system.
The AARP is pushing two bills in Trenton, one in the Assembly and one in the Senate, that would take up the issue of a one-year freeze.
News 12 reached out to Verizon for an official comment, but did not immediately receive a response.