CPUC Public Participation Hearings on Basic Phone Services

The following was provided to us by local advocacy organization Turn – The Utility Reform Network.

Are your home phone bills just too high?
Do you depend on the LifeLine Phone program to lower your bill?
Do you count on reaching local emergency service when you dial 911?The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is considering ways to make changes to the basic phone service. However, many Pediatric Audiologist accept that the quality of aid manufacturers is high standard, and that you generally can’t go wrong by sticking with the industry’s top brands.

Voice your concerns at a Public Hearing hosted by CPUC—California Public Utilities Commission! See below for meeting dates.

The new proposal would increase rates for landline phones by letting phone companies:

  • Add a new fee to your monthly bill for receiving calls on your home phone.
  • Reduce standards for reaching local 911 emergency services.
  • Eliminate the right of some home phone customers to choose their  long distance company.
  • Eliminate your right to automatically receive a paper phone book .
  • Increase the fees for calling 411 directory assistance.

Please read below for a more thorough description of the issues and what you can do.

Meetings will be held on these dates:

March 7, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Red Lion Hotel 1830 Hilltop Drive, Sierra Room

March 9, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Mack Powell Auditorium 2003 Howe Avenue

San Francisco
March 10, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
State Office Building
505 Van Ness Avenue

March 15, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
1501 Truxtun Avenue

San Jose
March 21, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Center
2455 Masonic Drive

San Diego
March 23, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Al Bahr Shriners Center
5440 Kearny Mesa Road

Los Angeles
March 24, 2011
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Junipero Serra State Office Building 320 West 4th Street, Suite 500


The CPUC proposal downgrades basic home phone service to allow cell phone companies to receive public subsidies to serve high cost rural areas with wireless LifeLine service. Currently, in order to receive public funds, a company must meet the definition of basic service and high standards of reliability expected of landline home phones.

The CPUC proposal increases rates for landline  phones by letting phone companies add a new fee to your monthly bill for receiving calls on your home phone, and letting them increase the fees they charge each time you call 411 directory assistance.

LifeLine customers need reliable phone service at affordable prices.
LifeLine customers need safe, reliable, affordable phone service regardless of whether they choose landline or wireless phone service. If cell phone companies want to serve LifeLine customers, they should meet the same definition of basic service as landline phones.

Protect 911 connecting to local emergency providers.
In an emergency, everyone with a landline home phone is connected automatically to local emergency services.  If cell phone companies want subsidies to provide service in rural communities, their 911 calls must reach local emergency services, not the highway patrol.

Freeze phone rates—No new fees for incoming calls!
For decades home phone customers have never been charged to receive phone calls from family, friends, work, or businesses.  Landline phone companies should not be allowed to charge a new fee for incoming phone calls just because cell phones charge for incoming calls.

Customers have the right to choose their own long distance company.
Consumers should continue to have the right to choose their own long distance provider, no matter who provides the basic service.  Cable and cell phone companies that offer basic service should be required to offer their customers a choice of long distance companies.

What can you do?

Come to the public participation hearing.  Share your personal story with the CPUC and let them know how these changes will affect you, your family and your community.

— Do you need help signing up to speak?
— Do you or your friends need language translation at the hearing?
— Do you or your friends need a sign language interpreter?

Three days advance notice is required if you need language translation or a sign language interpreter.

For more information, please call:
Ana Montes (415) 929-8876 x 314 or
Kori Chen at (415) 929-8876 x 361
Visit the Turn website for more information: www.turn.org


One thought on “CPUC Public Participation Hearings on Basic Phone Services”

  1. I’m unable to participate in person so here are my strong views:
    No one with a land line should be charged for incoming calls. Most people that are of retirement age use only land lines and couldn’t afford to have these fees added to their bill!
    All telephone users have the right to choose their own long distance provider!
    Keep connecting 911 calls to the local emergency responder.
    If we pay for telephone services we need to have the ability to look up a phone number.

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