AT&T & Frontier Let Phone Networks “Fall Apart” Despite Rate Hikes, Says Regulator; Low-income Customers Hardest Hit

By B.N. Frank

AT&T is really making a name for itself and not in a good way.  Despite opposition and warnings, the company continues to install 5G throughout the U.S. (see 1, 2) and reports indicate that it’s slower than 4G in almost every city where it’s been tested.  Regardless, the company is asking to borrow billions more to keep installing it.

The company has also been outed for failing to install broadband in Mississippi after being paid hundreds of millions to do so.

More unsavory news about AT&T as well as Frontier courtesy of Ars Technica:


PAY MORE, GET LESS —

AT&T and Frontier have let phone networks fall apart, Calif. regulator finds

AT&T raised phone prices 153% over a decade as service got steadily worse.

JON BRODKIN

AT&T and Frontier have let their copper phone networks deteriorate through neglect since 2010, resulting in poor service quality and many lengthy outages, a report commissioned by the California state government found. Customers in low-income areas and areas without substantial competition have fared the worst, the report found. AT&T in particular was found to have neglected low-income communities and to have imposed severe price increases adding up to 152.6 percent over a decade.

The report was written in April 2019 but kept private because data submitted by the carriers was deemed confidential and proprietary. The report finally became public after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ruled in December 2020 that a redacted version had to be released by mid-January.

A summary of the CPUC-commissioned report identified six key findings:

  1. Service Quality has deteriorated: Both carriers exhibited a higher relative number of outages and longer time required to restore service for outages lasting more than 24 hours.
  2. Demonstrated lack of resiliency: AT&T and Frontier are not maintaining networks to withstand environmental and weather-related conditions. Networks are not robust, both Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) have cut back on preventative maintenance expenditures.
  3. Disinvestment in Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS): AT&T and Frontier are putting very little investment into infrastructure that supports only Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) service. Both ILECs are relying on price increases and customer inertia to maintain revenue stream.
  4. Increased investment in broadband improves POTS service quality: AT&T and Frontier areas with higher broadband investment have a higher level of POTS service quality and better performance on all [service] metrics.
  5. AT&T is focusing on higher income communities: AT&T wire centers serving areas with the lowest household incomes exhibit higher trouble report rates and longer out-of-service durations than areas in higher income communities.
  6. Direct relationship between amount of competition and service quality results: Areas with limited or no competition experience lower service quality results. Both AT&T and Frontier put more investment and attention in areas with higher rates of competitive offerings.

Frontier’s California network was owned and operated by Verizon until Frontier bought it in April 2016.

Long outages



AT&T and Frontier both repeatedly failed to meet the state’s minimum standard to “repair 90 percent of all out-of-service trouble reports within 24 hours.”

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According to a group of telecom experts who call themselves “The Irregulators,” all Americans have already paid to have safer access to high-speed internet via fiber optics (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

High-speed internet is safer and more secure with a hardwired internet connection (see 1, 2, 3) – not 5G, 4G (see 1, 2) or WiFi (see 1, 2).  American opposition to both 4G and 5G infrastructure continues to increase due to concerns about reduced property value (see 1, 2), public safety (see 1, 2, 3), health (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), and environmental risks.  Municipalities have taken legal action against deployment (see 1, 2, 3).  Some consider 5G to be a form of “environmental racism.”

Research has determined that 5G is NOT SAFE.   Cities worldwide AND entire countries have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit installation AS WELL AS issue moratoriums due to health, safety, environmental and economic risks.  The majority of scientists worldwide oppose deployment.  Americans opposed to 5G may sign a petition asking President Biden and Vice President Harris to stop deployment.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more details visit our archives and the following websites:

Image: Pixabay

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