AT&T’s Request to End Landline Service in California Rejected by CPUC

Over 70,000 Customers Affected by Network Outages on AT&T's Infrastructure

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) denies AT&T’s request to discontinue landline service, ensuring continued access for remote and emergency use.

California, Bollywood Fever: AT&T cannot terminate landline service for customers across California. On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rejected AT&T’s request to be released from its obligations as a Carrier of Last Resort (COLR), as reported by Ars Technica and CBS News.

AT&T has held the COLR designation in California since 1996, which ensures affordable and reliable telephone service access for all residents. Many Californians, especially those in remote areas, depend on their landline service for emergency calls when power outages or cellular service interruptions occur.

Over 70,000 Customers Affected by Network Outages on AT&T's Infrastructure

Earlier this year, AT&T requested to be relieved of its COLR duties, citing the widespread availability of mobile service and VoIP. AT&T argued that the “economic justification” for COLR is outdated due to the presence of alternative voice services offering “reasonable rates” and “superior technologies” throughout the state. The company highlighted the substantial costs of maintaining the copper landline network, which competitors do not bear. However, AT&T assured that it would continue providing landline service in areas without alternatives.

Despite these arguments, CPUC rejected AT&T’s request. The commission stated that “AT&T failed to demonstrate the availability of replacement providers willing and able to serve as COLR.” The decision also referenced public comments about the “unreliability” of mobile service and VoIP. In response, AT&T is advocating for new rules to change how California designates a COLR.

Marc Blakeman, president of AT&T California, assured in a statement to The Verge, “No customer will be left without voice and 911 services. We are fully committed to keeping our customers connected while we work with state leaders on policies that create a thoughtful transition that brings modern communications to all Californians.”

Concerns about cellular service reliability are well-founded. In February, AT&T experienced a nationwide outage, and earlier this month, an issue disrupted calls between Verizon and AT&T customers.

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Nicholas Edwards

Nicholas Edwards is a passionate writer with a keen interest in sports and business news. With a knack for delivering insightful and engaging content, Nicholas keeps his finger on the pulse of the latest developments in these dynamic fields. His enthusiasm for both sports and business shines through in his writing, making complex topics accessible to a wide audience. Whether it's dissecting the latest game-changing play or analyzing market trends, Nicholas brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge to his articles. Email @

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