AT&T is still on the hook for providing landline service in California

AT&T cannot cut off landline service for customers throughout California. in The ruling is on Thursdaythe California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has denied AT&T’s request to relieve it of its obligations as a carrier of last resort (COLR), as previously reported by Ars Technica And CBS News.

AT&T has held the COLR rating in California since 1996, ensuring everyone in the state has access to reliable, affordable phone service. Some people in California — especially those who live in remote areas — have become dependent on their landline phone service, as it allows them to make emergency calls even when the power goes out or cellular service is unavailable.

Earlier this year, AT&T requested CPUC. It will be relieved of its duties as a designated carrier, due to the wide availability of mobile phone service and VoIP. In its request, AT&T says the “economic justification” for COLR no longer exists because alternative voice services that are “affordable” and “rely on superior technologies” are available throughout the state. The company adds that it “incurs a significant cost to maintain and operate” its copper landline network, while competitors do not have to. AT&T says it will continue to offer landline service in areas where an alternative is not available.

“AT&T failed to demonstrate the availability of alternative service providers willing and able to operate as COLR.”

However, the CPUC denied AT&T’s request. “AT&T failed to demonstrate the availability of alternative service providers willing and able to operate as a COLR,” the agency says. The resolution also cites public commenters who raised the “unreliability” of cellphone and VoIP service. AT&T is Now pressing for new rules That would change the way California sets COLR.

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“No customer will be left without voice and 911 services,” says Mark Blakeman, president of AT&T California, in an emailed statement. the edge. “We are fully committed to keeping our customers connected as we work with state leaders on policies that create an informed transition that provides modern communications for all Californians.”

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