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SMC | California Regulators Deny AT&T’s Bid to Drop Landline Telephone Service: Local Officials Say Battle Not Yet Won

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Redwood City – San Mateo County officials celebrated today’s California Public Utilities Commission decision that allows residents to keep their land-line phones, a critical communications tool in emergencies.

“This is a victory,” San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller said, “for some of the most vulnerable residents in our county whose telephones are their lifeline.”

Telecommunications giant AT&T had requested that the CPUC relieve AT&T of what is called its “Carrier of Last Resort” (COLR) obligations in certain areas of California, including nearly all of San Mateo County. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in March to oppose the move, which they said would leave “thousands of residents, including vulnerable populations such as seniors and those with access and function needs… at risk.”

Today’s CPUC vote denies AT&T’s bid to drop landline service that includes free access to 9-1-1 and telephone relay service (for people with speech or hearing issues), among other features. Mueller, whose District 3 includes numerous rural hamlets, has led the County’s opposition.

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Jul 9, 2024 | News & Updates