CSAC Bulletin Article

Counties Encouraged to Provide Comments During Upcoming CPUC Hearings on AT&T Application For Relief From Carrier of Last Resort Obligation

February 1, 2024

In December, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ruled that AT&T California shall provide notice to its customers of a series of public participation hearings.

CPUC’s Ruling comes in response to an application that AT&T California submitted in March 2023, for targeted relief from its legal obligation as a Carrier of Last Resort (COLR) to provide “Plain Old Telephone Service,” also known as POTS or landline phone services (https://apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/A2303003), and requested to withdraw its Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designation (https://apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/A2303002). If the CPUC approves, over 580,000 AT&T customers will be affected, many of whom are senior citizens, or live in low-income households, or reside in rural areas where other connectivity is not available to them.

As part of the Ruling, AT&T California is also required to provide notice of its application to all customers, local governments, and tribal communities that could be affected, as well as to other eligible companies that may wish to replace AT&T as the COLR for the areas AT&T wishes to withdraw. The notice must include only factual information regarding the application, including the locations from which AT&T wishes to withdraw as a Carrier of Last Resort, and include whether AT&T intends to continue offering landline service in the community in question. The notice also must include a map of the areas affected, at the ZIP Code level or a more granular geographic span and include the major county roads and county and state highways. The notice also must clearly state that AT&T is willing to discuss the application with any local government official and provide the contact information and title of the AT&T employee that should be contacted to request such a meeting. AT&T sent the information as two separate notices to affected AT&T customers during mid-January and at the end of January.

The CPUC is requesting to hear from local governments, tribal entities, and members of the public. CSAC strongly encourages counties to share comments regarding AT&T’s applications with the CPUC.

Make your voice heard:

  1. Attend one of the eight public participation hearings that will be held between February and March throughout the state. Six in-person hearings (in Fresno, Mendocino, and Riverside Counties) and two virtual hearings will be held, as detailed in the table below.
  2. Submit comments directly to the CPUC’s online public comment portal.


Date and Time


February 6, 2024

2pm and 6pm


In Person Only

Clovis City Council Chambers

1033 5th St.

Clovis, CA 93612


February 22, 2024

2pm and 6pm

In Person Only

Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

501 Low Gap Road, Room 1070

Ukiah, CA. 95482

March 14, 2024

2pm and 6pm


In Person Only

Indio City Hall Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Mall

Indio, CA 92201

March 19, 2024

2pm and 6pm



Virtual Only

Telephone number to comment publicly and/or listen during the

public participation hearing: 1-800-857-1917

Passcode: 6032788#


Press *1 to inform the operator that you want to comment.


Live broadcast with captions available in English and Spanish to view the 3/19/24 public participation hearing and to view the recording after:



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