The California Public Utility Commission is Considering Setting Minimum Quality of Service Standards for Cell Phones

Scheduled Hearings will Allow Public Input


Although minimum service quality standards have long been in place for public utility corporations offering land-line telephone service,  no such standards currently exist for cell phone services. The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) is in the process of considering amendments to the existing rules (General Order (GO) 133-D) that would extend minimum quality of service requirements to cell phones and other essential communications services not currently covered under the rules.

Public input may be influential in determining the outcome of CPUC’s considerations. The CPUC is holding two public hearings during which members of the public may make public statements: Tuesday 18 April 2-4:30pm and 6pm and Wednesday 3 May 2-4:30pm and 6pm.

Click on the event links above or go to for information on how to join the hearings and submit public comments.

Three Rivers Background:

  • Verizon services only a small portion of Three Rivers. The only viable option for most of the Three Rivers area is AT&T Wireless.
  • AT&T Wireless has long failed to provide a) the contracted services for which the company has been paid, b) mobile phone services adequate to meet the safety and communications needs of the community of Three Rivers and its 1.2 million annual visitors, and c) full and equitable credit for services not provided.
  • Service outages, dropped  calls, and poor audio quality have had demonstrable adverse effects on the community and the 1.2 million visitors it hosts annually. These adverse effects include failure to place 911 calls, dropped 911 calls, 911 calls in which the audio quality is too poor to sustain a conversation, and failure to provide adequate service to enable emergency operations during the massive forest fires of 2020 and 2021.
  • In December 2022, as a result of pressure from individuals, community organizations, and County Supervisor Eddie Valero, AT&T increased signal strength such that much of its Three Rivers service area now has 1-2 bars rather than 0-1 bars. At the same time, AT&T installed backup generators to improve service availability. While an improvement, customers are still experiencing dropped calls and 911 call failures, as well as difficulty in using the data services for routing purposes (a critically important service in a National Park gateway community).
  • At a public meeting on 6 December, AT&T verbally committed to providing emergency service equipment to the community, a mechanism for customers to report service outages, and a mechanism for obtaining full and equitable credit for services not provided. AT&T has failed to meet these commitments.
  • Although the proposed extension of the minimum quality of service standards will not resolve all of the quality of service issues impacting the safety of residents and visitors to Three Rivers, adherence to those standards should mitigate some of the risks resulting from AT&T’s service failures.

[SOURCE: California Public Utility Commission]