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AT&T continues to be on the hook for providing landline service in California

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AT&T can’t pull the plug on landline service for purchasers throughout California. In a ruling on Thursday, the California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) rejected AT&T’s request to launch it from its obligations as a Service of Final Resort (COLR), as reported earlier by Ars Technica and CBS News.

AT&T has had a COLR designation in California since 1996, which ensures everybody within the state has entry to reasonably priced and dependable phone service. Some individuals in California — particularly those that dwell in distant areas — have come to depend on their landline service, because it permits them to make emergency calls even when the ability is out or mobile service isn’t out there.

Earlier this yr, AT&T asked CPUC to be launched from its duties as a chosen provider, citing the broad availability of cellular service and VoIP. In its request, AT&T argues the “financial justification” for COLR now not exists as a result of various voice providers with “cheap charges” and “based mostly on superior applied sciences” can be found all through the state. The corporate provides that it “bears substantial price to take care of and function” the copper landline community, whereas rivals don’t must. AT&T says it could proceed offering landline service in areas the place there isn’t a various out there.

“AT&T did not display the provision of substitute suppliers keen and in a position to function COLR.”

Nevertheless, CPUC rejected AT&T’s request. The company says “AT&T did not display the provision of substitute suppliers keen and in a position to function COLR.” The choice additionally cites public commenters who introduced up the “unreliability” of cellular service and VoIP. AT&T is now pushing for new rules that may change the best way California designates a COLR.

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“No buyer shall be left with out voice and 911 providers,” Marc Blakeman, president of AT&T California, says in an emailed assertion to The Verge. “We’re absolutely dedicated to conserving our prospects linked whereas we work with state leaders on insurance policies that create a considerate transition that brings fashionable communications to all Californians.”

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