RCRC is a formal party to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proceeding that will consider changes to minimum service quality standards of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), wireless, and broadband service, as well as examine enforcement protocols to improve substandard service. Currently, CPUC General Order 133 sets minimum service quality standards for legacy Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) providers, but that does not extend to newer technology such as VoIP. Furthermore, while the CPUC currently permits investments in lieu of penalties to remedy service quality deficiencies, the resulting progress has largely been deemed ineffective and will be called into question as part of the scope of the proceeding.
Rural counties have experienced a myriad of poor service quality issues that have compounded over time, including a lack of redundancy for VoIP, insufficient wireless coverage, and inadequate broadband speeds that impact educational outcomes, commerce, and telehealth opportunities. RCRC recently submitted comments urging the CPUC to treat and regulate voice service technologies more consistently and implement recommendations, such as disaggregating a company’s service quality data that currently skews enforcement in persistently failing locations.
For more information, contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Tracy Rhine.