Telecom Reform Campaign: What is Illinois Waiting for?

Help Keep Illinois A National Leader in Telecom!

The State of Illinois can maintain a thriving competitive market for telecom and promote the adoption of new technologies by embracing free market principles that encourage job creation and capital investment. (click here to download critical information and talking points as well as a sample letter to the editor on this important issue.)

The opportunity has come for lawmakers to open up competition between Illinois Telecom companies and finally bring new technologies to Illinois consumers and businesses!

In 2001, the Illinois General Assembly enacted major revisions to the Telecommunications Article of the Public Utilities Act. For more than a decade, legislators have shoehorned revisions into an old law that was geared toward technology developed in the 1800s. The revisions have been enacted to increase competition in the telecommunications sector. But the existing law has created a hangover from the days of extensive government regulation of the telecom industry and has actually stifled growth and investment in technology. This is detrimental to the future of technology in telecommunications. In 2005, Illinois lawmakers will have the opportunity draft a completely new, forward-looking telecom law. This new law must encourage more market competition to let technological innovations flourish for the benefit of Illinois consumers and businesses.

Some healthy market competition already exists in the telecommunications sector, but it remains reigned in by state regulators under the old law. Due to the innovation market competition encourages, telecom companies have developed vast improvements in wireless services and created emerging technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows consumers to make phone calls over the Internet. The latest numbers from the FCC show that wireless subscribers have increased from 5.8 million in 1999 to 10.8 million in 2003, while landline service has decreased. This changing market assures a healthy, competitive telecom market.