Skip to main content


Search News

Date Published Between

For the Media

For media inquiries, call CWA Communications at 202-434-1168 or email To read about CWA Members, Leadership or Industries, visit our About page.

CWA Members Oppose AT&T’s Attempts to Stop Serving California’s Rural and Low-Income Customers

Last week, CWA members, retirees, and community members turned out to voice concerns about AT&T’s attempt to end its obligations to respond to every reasonable request for landline telephone service in California and to offer federal and California LifeLine programs to make service more affordable for low-income households.

According to those who testified at a packed California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) hearing, cellular service is often unavailable in remote locations, where tall trees even block satellite-based telephone service. Landlines, many stated, are the only reliable means of telecommunications in these areas. CWA Local 9413 President Mark Ellis spoke passionately about AT&T’s withdrawal from Nevada and the negative consequences for working-class households.

“Just this week we were reminded of the continued importance of landline telephone service when AT&T’s wireless network suffered an hours-long nationwide disruption,” CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce said in a statement on AT&T’s request. “CWA members know that for many Californians, especially our elderly and rural residents, landline service remains the most reliable option. We urge the California Public Utilities Commision to demonstrate its continued commitment to ensuring that every Californian has access to affordable, reliable telecommunications service by rejecting AT&T’s attempt to cut service to our most vulnerable residents.”

CWAers plan to continue to raise their voices on this issue. If the CPUC grants AT&T’s request, many areas of California could be without a voice service provider within six months. Such a reduction in service would put technician and customer service support jobs at risk. The CPUC will host one more in-person hearing and one virtual hearing. For more information on how to participate in these hearings, please click here to visit the CPUC page.