Gunther, CWA discuss Verizon’s Voice Link

Bethel, NY – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D, I, WF-Forestburgh) was joined today by law enforcement, members of Sullivan County Emergency Services, and representatives from the Communication Workers of America to raise awareness about Verizon’s VoiceLink, a wireless-only product to replace traditional landline telephones.

The installation of VoiceLink was approved on parts of Fire Island badly damaged by Super Storm Sandy. However, the PSC would not approve a wider installation until further review was conducted.

The installation of VoiceLink service in Sullivan County is problematic, at best. Issues of reliability and accessibility to emergency services have caused concern over public safety.

“One of my primary concerns is the safety and security of the people I represent. The installation of VoiceLink, without further study, threatens that safety,” said Assemblywoman Gunther. “Medical monitoring systems, such as Life Alert, do not work on VoiceLink, creating the chance of a life-threatening situation for our seniors. Home security systems do not work. And, perhaps most importantly, during an emergency, such as Super Storm Sandy, when cell phones failed and batteries died, traditional landlines continued to provide service. Communication is critical to our health and safety. I, for one, do not want Verizon threatening that.”