Quincy and SR70 Corridor Face Potential Landline Service Disruption Amid AT&T Withdrawal Request


Quincy and communities along the SR70 corridor through Portola to Hallelujah Junction could be without telephone landline services if approved by state regulators.

Pending a decision from the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the largest “Carrier of Last Resort” (COLR) in the state, AT&T California, may no longer be required to provide landline service. The phone company has applied to withdraw its obligation.

A COLR is a requirement that a provider offer basic telephone services to any customer within a specified area. Basic services include not only landline rates, but also “free access to 9-1-1, Telephone Relay Service, and directory and operator services.” For Quincy and the SR70 corridor, that provider is AT&T.

The company has requested to cease its 27-year-old obligation because “about 90 percent of AT&T California’s former customers have left its plain old telephone service (“POTS”)” for newer services like mobile and broadband. The company adds that the obligation “makes them keep [its] old copper network even though they are working on new and better networks like fiber and wireless broadband.” AT&T says the transition will be for the betterment of California as it would result in the “use [of] less energy than copper networks, benefiting public safety and the environment.”

If approved there the CPUC says there will no longer be carrier required to provide the service to the affected areas, but another carrier could offer to volunteer to offer the same services.

Starting next week the CPUC will begin a series of public forums to hear from those affected. A virtual option will be help March 19th at 2 and 6 pm.

The public forums will begin with a brief overview of AT&T’s proposals, then parties to the proceeding may provide brief overviews, and then public comments will be heard. At least one representative from AT&T will be available to answer questions about individual customer bills or service.


  • Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to view via webcast will have audio and video but will not be able to make verbal comments. If you would like to make comment during the forums, refer to the phone-in information below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the meeting, click the green button below the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The public forums will be recorded and archived for future viewing.
  • Phone: 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 6032788#
    • Participants will have audio and will be able to make comments. (To make a comment, after entering the passcode, when prompted press *1, unmute your phone, and record your name.)
    • Wait times depend on the number of speakers in the public comment queue. During times of high call volumes, wait times will be longer. The operator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.

Customers can also make their voice heard in the proceedings and read the comments of others on the CPUC’s website.


Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash