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      Michigan Senate looks to hang-up on landlines

      Lawmakers want to move Michigan's telecommunications into the future by hanging up the land lines.

      They plan to move phone customers to cell service by 2017.

      Legislation to do that has already passed the state senate and house, but lawmakers say more work needs to be done on Senate Bill 636.

      "I and most of the northern Michigan legislatures voted no on it," said Senator Tom Casperson. "We don't believe they've come far enough with it, in that, the building protections for some of the rural areas."

      Upper Michigan lawmakers say they welcome change; however they are concerned with such a drastic change for Upper Peninsula communities.

      "I just am very particular about our safety and what we're doing with these landlines," said Representative Scott Dianda. "I don't want us to abandon those to go for technology that may or may not work and function in our seven counties."

      Hiawatha Telephone Company officials in Munising say landline users shouldn't worry; they don't plan to stop landline service, but is it possible that the government can make you give up your service?

      "With the passing of this bill, there's no language that gives them any kind of authority that would force us to withdraw from an area," said Jay Brogan of Hiawatha Communications.

      His company services over 9,000 customers throughout the U.P., where they invested millions of dollars to improve service.

      Brogan says his customers will always have an alternative.

      "If one customer says 'I don't have an alternative to my landline service,' that goes to the Michigan Public Service Commission and they can launch an investigation," Brogan added.

      If you are interested in what is contained within bill 636, click here .