Skip to Content

California Public Utilities Commission rejects AT&T request to withdraw landline service

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) - UPDATE - Jun 20, 2024 - 10:45 P.M. - The California Public Utilities rejected AT&T's request to withdraw as a carrier of last resort for landline service.

According to the CPUC, the rejection, "Underscores the critical importance of ensuring universal access to essential telecommunications services for all Californians."

ORIGINAL - Feb 27, 2024 6:56 P.M. - People living in rural areas of Santa Cruz County got a chance to voice their opposition to the AT&T ending landline services as most of the people use landlines in emergency situations.

For the first time since the announcement of the possibility of removing landlines, Santa Cruz County residents got a chance to voice their concerns to AT&T on Tuesday morning.

"We also lived in that house during the 89 quake," said Judy Rosella Myers who lives in Pleasure Point. "And the landline was a savior,"

Some people left the meeting with more questions than answers.

"They gave lots of reasons why people were giving up landlines. But possibly this was pointed out, maybe because they haven't kept the service up and repaired," said Myers.

AT&T says one of the reasons they're cutting the service is because fewer people are using landline phones.

"We've lost approximately 240,000 customers between December of 2022 and December of 2023 customers," said Tedi Vriheas, Vice President of External Affairs for AT&T

Vriheas says landlines wouldn't be reliable during natural disasters if they're damaged, saying cell phones are a better option.

"In that specific event of an emergency, your mobile phone is exactly that, it's the mobile you take with you," said Vriheas. "You can get coverage at the shelter or, wherever you are during that emergency,"

People attending the meeting Tuesday say having another line of communication is better than just one.

"We we are happily happy to pay $85 and more sometimes, for that peace of mind," said Kathy St. John who lives in Boulder Creek. "We have two horses, we have six cats, four dogs, and we have chickens and you know, it's we can't just leave the house like some people."

St. John was not able to attend the meeting but had this to say.

"We really, you know, we rely on that landline to keep us safe. And I know that many, many others in the mountains do as well," said St. John. "And, you know, we pay for this service and we have for many years and we've put our faith and our trust, in our loyalty into AT&T,"

AT&T says the evidentiary proceeding will start in April but could take years until a final decision is made.

A meeting in Felton with AT&T will be held on February 28 at 5:30 pm at Felton Community Hall 6191 Highway 9, Felton.

County of Monterey officials say that a meeting in Greenfield is currently in the works.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content