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davemize

ACE - Professor

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3K Messages

Thu, Mar 14, 2019 10:04 AM

AT&T Ohio to Drop Rural Landline Discount

By Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch, March 14, 2019

 

AT&T Ohio has gotten permission from state regulators to drop out of a program that helps poor consumers living in most of its service territory afford telephone service.

 

AT&T will stop providing Lifeline discounts to the majority of its landline customers on June 11, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ruled Wednesday. The company serves 7,301 landline customers enrolled in the program in Ohio, many in rural parts of the state, according to the most recent federal data.

 
Lifeline is a federally funded program that provides monthly discounts to eligible consumers of land-line, wireless or broadband services.
 

AT&T made the request last summer, noting in a filing that the number of traditional residential landlines fell 81 percent between 2005 and 2015, and that the number of AT&T Lifeline customers has plummeted as well, even as the total number of Lifeline customers has grown in Ohio.

Groups representing low-income consumers complained that the proposal hurts those who depend on their landline to communicate with caregivers, friends and family. They note that cellphone coverage in some rural areas can be spotty, so a landline is vital.

 

Customers enrolled in the program receive a $9.25 monthly credit. The Federal Communications Commission establishes the amount of the discount. The FCC is phasing out the discount for voice-only phone lines by December 2021.

 

AT&T Ohio will continue to provide landline telephone service to all of its current customers. However, customers wishing to continue to receive discounts through Lifeline will need to find another company, the PUCO said. A list of those companies is available at at www.lifelinesupport.org.

 

Affected AT&T Ohio customers who can't find an alternative are encouraged to notify the PUCO by Aug. 10. The PUCO will assist consumers in finding an alternative provider and, if one does not exist, AT&T will continue to provide a discount for an additional year.

 

A PUCO staff investigation determined that wireless providers offering Lifeline discounts cover 99.85 percent of AT&T Ohio's affected service territory.

 

mawilliams@dispatch.com @BizMarkWilliams

"Don't make me summon the flying monkeys...."

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spoom2

ACE - Master

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8.7K Messages

2 years ago

My guess would be because it has to do with landline service. I took it as information that was copied from an online newspaper article, all the phone companies are trying to do away with the old copper plant.  Verizon in the northeast was ordered by the FCC and the courts to repair their copper plant.  I'm not going to search for it, but I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find.  Sounds more to me like the PUC in Ohio needs to get a backbone. 

This is a user to user help forum. It is not an AT&T support site. I am not an AT&T employee, read the ACE's disclaimer at the bottom of this post

Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
davemize

ACE - Professor

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3K Messages

2 years ago

I'm curious as to why this post was moved to the AT&T Phone Account forum? I originally put it in the Clubhouse forum just as a topic of interest, intended to spur conversation, since it's not a typical "problem - resolution" post.

"Don't make me summon the flying monkeys...."

Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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