California regulator to vote on proposal rejecting AT&T’s plan to end landline obligation

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposal to reject AT&T’s request to withdraw as California’s carrier of last resort. The carrier of last resort obligation requires AT&T to offer landline service to large parts of California. When AT&T tried to get out of that obligation, KCRA 3 Investigates heard concerns from viewers, mainly in rural parts of Northern California. The viewers said they rely on landlines because cellphone service can be spotty.In a CPUC proposal released on Friday, a judge said AT&T failed to demonstrate there were replacement providers willing to step into that role as a carrier of last resort so the company’s request should be dismissed.The proposal, which was written by an administrative law judge tasked with independently looking into the application, also shows that the CPUC got more than 5,000 public comments on this issue. The comments were overwhelmingly against AT&T’s request. Public hearings on the issue took place in February. KCRA 3 reached out to the phone company for comment.In a statement, a spokesperson said the company was “disappointed by the proposed dismissal.” “Not surprisingly, no providers were interested in bidding on a service with a declining number of customers given the competitive options available in today’s marketplace,” the statement added. “We remain committed to keeping our customers connected to voice service and will continue working with state leaders on policies that allow us to bring modern communications to Californians.”The company said it will continue to try to prove to the CPUC that the obligation is no longer necessary.The commission will vote on the judge’s recommendation. The proposal is on the agenda for the CPUC’s meeting on June 20.| Previous Coverage | Some Californians may lose access to telephone landline services as AT&T makes request to regulatorsSee more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.–KCRA 3’s Daniel Macht and Lysée Mitri contributed to this story.

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposal to reject AT&T’s request to withdraw as California’s carrier of last resort.

The carrier of last resort obligation requires AT&T to offer landline service to large parts of California.

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When AT&T tried to get out of that obligation, KCRA 3 Investigates heard concerns from viewers, mainly in rural parts of Northern California.

The viewers said they rely on landlines because cellphone service can be spotty.

In a CPUC proposal released on Friday, a judge said AT&T failed to demonstrate there were replacement providers willing to step into that role as a carrier of last resort so the company’s request should be dismissed.

The proposal, which was written by an administrative law judge tasked with independently looking into the application, also shows that the CPUC got more than 5,000 public comments on this issue. The comments were overwhelmingly against AT&T’s request. Public hearings on the issue took place in February.

KCRA 3 reached out to the phone company for comment.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the company was “disappointed by the proposed dismissal.”

“Not surprisingly, no providers were interested in bidding on a service with a declining number of customers given the competitive options available in today’s marketplace,” the statement added. “We remain committed to keeping our customers connected to voice service and will continue working with state leaders on policies that allow us to bring modern communications to Californians.”

The company said it will continue to try to prove to the CPUC that the obligation is no longer necessary.

The commission will vote on the judge’s recommendation. The proposal is on the agenda for the CPUC’s meeting on June 20.

| Previous Coverage | Some Californians may lose access to telephone landline services as AT&T makes request to regulators

See more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

–KCRA 3’s Daniel Macht and Lysée Mitri contributed to this story.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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