Friday, May 27, 2016, Sacramento— Millions of Californians who depend on copper landlines for reliable phone and Internet connections and superior 911 capabilities can breath a sigh of relief today. AT&T sponsored AB 2395 (Low) has been defeated for the time being and held in suspense by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The bill would have stripped away the few remaining consumer protections California’s landline customers have, including the requirement to provide service in remote rural areas. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) joined TURN in spearheading opposition to AB 2395 due to urgent concerns about consumers being left without dependable service, especially in emergency situations.
“AT&T often gets its way in Sacramento, where it is one of the top spenders on lobbying and political donations,” said TURN executive director Mark Toney. “This time, the public outcry was so loud it could not be ignored.” Toney said thousands of TURN members had contacted their representatives to urge rejection of the bill. In addition, rural counties, consumer groups, seniors, emergency personnel and workers had all been united in opposition.
“Customers still want the choice of copper, and for now they’ll be able to keep that,” said Toney. “If AT&T wants to take copper away, it should invest in improving the reliability of alternative services, rather than in lobbying to eliminate consumer protections.”