Broad-based coalition of more than 240 Illinois organizations calls for update of expiring state communications law

Coalition to update the law features significant support from health care, agriculture, education, local government, business, tech and community groups, including Illinois employer groups, Illinois Farm Bureau, Fraternal Order of Police, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, Illinois Municipal League, 1871, Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, Illinois State Medical Society Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and Illinois Principals Association. SPRINGFIELD, IL – A broad-based coalition of more than 240 Illinois organizations representing employers, health care, agriculture, public safety, seniors, technology, economic development, education and community organizations says Illinois should update its expiring rotary dial era communications law in 2015. The coalition includes strong Illinois voices including the Illinois Farm Bureau, Fraternal Order of Police – Illinois State Lodge, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, Illinois Municipal League, 1871, Illinois Technology Association, Illinois Hospital Association, Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, Illinois State Medical Society and Illinois Principals Association. Leading employer organizations and businesses also support a modern communications law as members of the coalition, including: Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, NFIB – Illinois, Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center, Deere & Co., CNA, Northern Trust, AT&T and Uber.
Members of the Illinois Partnership for the New Economy and Jobs today said state lawmakers should catch up to other states by adopting a communications law designed to attract investment in the modern communications technologies consumers overwhelmingly prefer today – modern landlines and wireless networks. The coalition delivered letters to Gov. Rauner and the four legislative leaders. “Illinois has a rotary dial law in a modern communications world. The outdated law requires investment into the old rotary dial era network when consumer demand for modern technologies on new networks is skyrocketing,” said Todd Maisch, President and CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the coalition. “It’s time for Illinois to catch up with other states and today’s consumer preferences by updating its communications law in 2015.” The current Illinois communications law includes provisions designed decades ago when one phone company held a monopoly instead of the modern day, highly-competitive communications marketplace.
Key statistics about modern communications preferences and policies.
  • Helps create thousands of jobs – Studies show investment in modern communications networks helps create thousands of jobs for a state’s economy.
  • 82 percent of Illinois households in AT&T territory already transitioned their home phone service to a modern landline (phone service from cable, etc.) or moved to only wireless service at home.
  • 1,000 Illinois consumers leave old technology every day – 1,000 Illinois households and businesses in AT&T Illinois territory leave the old technology and move to modern landlines or wireless every day.
  • 17 of 21 states – Of the states where AT&T provides traditional old technology phone service, like Illinois, 17 of 21 states already updated to a modern communications law to reflect modern technologies, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri and Florida.
  • $0. – Zero state tax dollars required for a policy change designed to create jobs.
The Illinois communications law expires on June 30, 2015. In Springfield, policymakers have a choice to make concerning the state’s communications law: Either keep the outdated law that pours money into yesterday’s rotary phone technology that Illinois consumers are abandoning in droves, or update the law to reflect today’s technology to strengthen Illinois’ improved landline and wireless networks consumers and businesses are demanding.
The Illinois Partnership for the New Economy & Jobs supports updating the state’s communication law in 2015.
  • WE SUPPORT state policy that will continue to ensure home telephone service for all consumers and businesses in Illinois through modern landline and wireless technologies.
  • WE SUPPORT updating the state’s communications laws in 2015 to attract private investment to strengthen modern landline and wireless networks that provide telephone service.
  • WE SUPPORT modern communications policies that attract private investment in robust broadband networks to meet consumer and business demand and create jobs across all sectors of the Illinois economy.
  • WE SUPPORT public policies that promote next generation communications infrastructure to meet the dynamic needs of economic development, health care, public safety and education in a global marketplace.
  • WE SUPPORT updating communications laws to spur private investment and keep up with growing consumer demand.
  • WE SUPPORT updating these laws to help spur investment and jobs without requiring tax dollars.
Click here for an overview of why Illinois should update its expiring communications law.