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California Public Utilities Commission to examine Verizon, AT&T landline networks

TheCalifornia Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 4 to 1 to examine the condition of AT&T and Verizon copper networks in the state. Citing instances of substandard service quality, the CPUC added that “reliable, high-quality telecommunications services are crucial for the health of California’s economy and the safety of California citizens.”

Concerns over deteriorating networks were detailed in a 2011 report that found AT&T and Verizon were not meeting the Out of Service Restoration time standard set by CAPUC. The state commission’s recent order following the vote reiterated the carriers’ failures, prompting the examination:

A study of network infrastructure was necessary to ensure that existing network facilities support a level of service consistent with public safety and customer needs. As demonstrated in the more recent service quality report documenting performance on these same measures in 2010-2013, the performance of the largest carriers (AT&T and Verizon) remains below the adopted standards in the areas identified four years ago.

The CPUC outlined a timetable over the next six months, within which commission staff will report updates. The state agency hopes to promote “the health and reliability of the communications network” that “continues to have a direct impact on the ability of Californians to access emergency services and protect the safety of the public.”

Order Instituting Rulemaking to Evaluate Telecommunications Corporations Service Quality Performance and Consider Modification to Service Quality Rules (CAPUC, Aug. 27, 2015)