FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- November 15, 2016
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
AT&T Missouri Seeks to Relinquish ETC Designation
and to Cease Providing Discounted Telephone Service
Under Lifeline and Disabled Programs
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T Missouri has filed a notice with the Missouri Public Service Commission to relinquish its Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation and to cease providing discounted telephone service to eligible Missouri customers under federal and state Lifeline and Disabled Programs effective July 5, 2017. ETC designation is needed to participate in the Lifeline and Disabled programs.
Lifeline is a national program designed to provide discounted telephone service to qualifying low-income customers. Additional discounts are provided through the Missouri Lifeline Program. The Disabled Program is a Missouri program designed to provide discounted telephone service to qualifying disabled landline customers and is administered by the Missouri Public Service Commission.
In its filing, AT&T Missouri states that dramatic changes have occurred within the telecommunications market since it began serving as an ETC, and those changes affect AT&T’s desire to continue operating as an ETC in Missouri.
AT&T Missouri states it meets the standard for relinquishment of its ETC designation because each wire center in AT&T’s current ETC designated area has at least one other ETC, and its Lifeline subscribers can obtain Lifeline-discounted service from other ETCs.
In its filing, AT&T Missouri states that after relinquishment, it will continue to offer and provide service in its Missouri service territory but it will no longer provide discounts under the federal and state Lifeline Programs and the state Disabled Program.
Individual citizens wishing to comment on this filing can go to the Commission’s Electronic Filing and Information System (EFIS) at psc.mo.gov. Use the link to the "Submit Comments" section and fill in all the required fields on the comment page. The file number is IO-2017-0132.
Comments may also be sent to the Office of the Public Counsel (Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Suite 650, P.O. Box 2230, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-2230, telephone 1-866-922-2959, email email@example.com) or the Public Service Commission Staff (P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, telephone 1-800-392-4211, email firstname.lastname@example.org). The Office of the Public Counsel is a separate state agency that represents the general public in matters before the Commission.