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Cities, counties could soon face much higher telecommunications costs


Michigan cities and counties could soon face skyrocketing telecommunications costs. That’s according to some industry experts and local government groups.

They say special rates from the state that go back decades are expiring. They also point to a new law allowing companies like AT&T to phase out traditional landline service.

Telecommunications consultant Dan Aylward says he’s concerned some communities won’t see the higher costs coming.

"These rates are going to come up really fast on some of these," Aylward said, "and we don’t think they’re prepared for the rates to jump up and then replace the hardware necessary there.”

Aylward expects rates to jump up to eight times what some cities and counties currently pay.

AT&T and other service providers say the move away from traditional landline service allows them to invest in more modern technologies.