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

Sacramento, Calif. – CWA members are speaking out against AT&T’s attempt to end its Carrier of Last Resort (COLR) obligation and Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation in California.

California Public Service Commission (CPUC) currently requires AT&T to respond to every reasonable request for landline service in its statewide service territory and to offer federal and California LifeLine to make services more affordable for low-income 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,” said CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce. “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.”

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. In addition, low-income households could see an increase of 200% or more on their monthly phone bill, according to an analysis by The Utility Reform Network (TURN).


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