BPU, rate counsel blast plan to drop N.J. land lines in Sandy ravaged areas

    New Jersey utility regulators and advocates for customers are opposing Verizon’s plan not to bring wired phone lines back to one shore town badly battered by Superstorm Sandy.

    The phone company is offering customers in Mantoloking its Voice Link service, which connects traditional landline phones to a wireless network.

    Groups including the AARP say they object because the technology cannot transfer data, so it’s not compatible with Internet service, fax machines, security systems or medical devices that use phone lines. Verizon says those capabilities are planned for the future.

    In filings with the Federal Communications Commission, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the state Rate Counsel, and customer advocacy groups oppose the company’s plan.

    Verizon says Sandy damaged Mantoloking’s old copper telephone wire network in the community beyond repair.

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