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Californians Protest AT&T’s Quest to End Landline Phones

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AT&T's proposal to end landline phone obligations in California faces backlash. If approved, more than 580,000 customers may lose vital services. (Shutterstock)
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AT&T’s proposal to end its landline phone obligations in California has sparked widespread protest from residents.

The telecom giant applied to end its Carrier of Last Resort obligation in March 2023, which, if approved, would make it easier for AT&T to drop its phone lines in the future.

The Rural County Representatives of California warn that more than 580,000 AT&T customers would be left with fewer options in terms of choice, quality, and affordability. Many residents have voiced concerns about the importance of landlines for emergency services and the unreliability of wireless service as a replacement.

“We live in the country with no cell service so the landline we have is the only way we can get help in an emergency,” a resident of Moss Landing wrote in protest. “There are only 5 homes on our part of the line. I don’t see any other company volunteering to pick up our service after we have heard AT&T tell us so many times we would be the very last to get things fixed due to the little amount of homes. Please don’t let them drop us!”

The California Public Utilities Commission is considering AT&T’s request, with a decision expected in September.

Read more at Ars Technica.

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