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AT&T’s Proposal To End Landline Service Dealt Blow

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Sonora, CA — After hearing outcry from the public, the California Public Utilities Commission will vote next month on a proposal to deny AT&T’s request to no longer be a Carrier of Last Resort (COLR).

The announcement indicates AT&T’s plan is likely defeated, after receiving 5,000 public comments weighing in.

The COLR designation requires the company to provide landline telephone service to interested customers in its service area.

AT&T had asked the state to drop the designation, citing the rising cost of maintaining the copper lines and a desire to put money into internet and cell phone infrastructure instead.

AT&T’s proposal was opposed by many rural leaders, especially in the more mountainous areas, where cell phone coverage is spotty. Some of those in opposition included the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and local county emergency responders.

The CPUC announces that it will vote on a proposal to reject AT&T’s request at an upcoming June 20 meeting and also initiate a new rulemaking process related to COLR obligations. The CPUC says in a statement that it is critical to have “universal access to telecommunication services for Californians.”