[CalFiber] CPUC report on AT&T/Frontier systemic abandonment of copper DSL

Ernesto Falcon ernesto at eff.org
Thu Mar 11 06:10:17 PST 2021

All the more reason why getting someone to replace this infrastructure with fiber is critical, they've been cutting corners on low income infrastructure for a long time. Frontier to the point of bankruptcy.

Another way to look at this in terms of major cities is basically they have surrendered the wireline market to cable, leaving a broadband monopoly, in places they choose not to do fiber. In rural, its even worse because many only have Frontier as the option.


Key findings from study

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 General Order 133-D 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.

Ernesto Omar Falcon
Senior Legislative Counsel
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
Cell: 202 716 0770

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