At AT&T, we support expanding access to high-speed internet across the state of California so every community can thrive in today’s digital world. High-speed internet infrastructure is critical to expanding opportunity, enhancing network resiliency, and supporting a brighter, more connected future for all Californians.

What we are planning and what it means for our customers

While we modernize our fiber-based networks in California, we need to update regulations that haven’t changed in decades – despite many technological advances. This is a multi-year effort to chart a smooth and orderly path to bring customers newer and reliable technologies in the years to come.

We want our customers to know – as a current subscriber of home phone service – you can keep your existing home phone service along with access to 911 services while we work toward bringing you newer, reliable and affordable voice service in the years ahead.

Our Promise to Keep Our Customers Connected

We know expanding access to high-speed connectivity in California is critical so every community across the state can thrive in today’s digital world. We also know how important it is to stay connected, especially during natural disasters, such as storms, wildfires and earthquakes. Strong, reliable connectivity is crucial for emergency responders and the communities they support.

Here’s our commitment to our customers to keep them connected:

  • You will keep your existing voice service during this multi-year process.
  • You will continue to have the ability to make phone calls, including 911.
  • We will continue expanding fiber and wireless networks in California to bring more reliable and affordable connectivity options.
  • Any future option available to you as an alternative will be equal or better than what you currently have.
  • No changes will be made to your service without your knowledge, and we will communicate with you about your options as this process moves forward.

Top 5 Reasons to Modernize California's Communications Network Now

California needs a plan now to transition to modern technology.
Modern communications networks are the way of the future. In fact, many customers have already made the switch to modern technologies like fiber broadband. To keep this transition moving effectively and efficiently, California needs a clear, state-approved plan for network modernization. Without one, Californians could be left behind.

Network modernization is part of bridging the digital divide.
Californians should have access to high-speed internet for bandwidth-rich activities like online learning, remote work, telehealth and entertainment. But we know barriers exist, keeping some Californians from connecting to the internet’s critical resources.

Modern communications networks are more accessible, safer and more secure – this helps more Californians get online, stay online and compete in the 21st century digital economy.

Every dollar spent on maintaining outdated technology means less investment in modern technology for Californians.
Older technologies, like copper networks, are less energy efficient, can cost more to maintain, and use harder-to-source equipment. Every dollar spent maintaining those networks impacts investing in modern technology that benefits Californians.

Modern fiber optic technology transmits data using ultra-thin, glass, fiber-optic cables that harness light instead of electricity, resulting in more bandwidth and faster speeds. Additionally, fiber is future-proof, meaning it will meet customers’ demand for usage and speed today and for decades ahead.


Customers can keep their existing home phone service along with access to 911 services through this multi-year process. We can bridge the digital divide without leaving anyone behind.

Our goal is to set a smooth path to help our traditional landline customers transition from old technology to new, all while continuing to have full access to their current home phone service and 911. We want to keep our customers connected and help them transition to modern technology—and existing FCC safeguards mean we will make good on that commitment.

Nothing is happening right away. Safeguards remain in place to ensure customers will be able to keep phone service in their home.
AT&T’s application with the CPUC is just the first step of a multi-year process to upgrade our customers to modern services. During this transition, the FCC will, among other things, check whether existing traditional copper-based landline customers have access to an “adequate replacement” service.

Voice Service Safeguards: Why You Will Still Be Connected

No matter what happens at the CPUC, existing federal safeguards will help ensure the product replacement for traditional copper-based voice service does the following:

✓ Backup power
✓ Access to emergency communications + 911 location accuracy functionality
✓ Accessibility and Security
✓ Interoperability with legacy devices like alarms, elevators, medical devices, fax machines, etc.
✓ Network Performance

These safeguards ensure that any future option available to our customers as an alternative will be equal or better than what they currently have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Network modernization refers to the many ways AT&T works to keep up with the always-on, anywhere-and-everywhere connectivity that customers, first responders and businesses rely on every single day.

Modernizing our communications networks can look like:

  • Integrating emerging technologies like cloud connectivity,
  • Planning for the changing climate by investing in resilient infrastructure, and
  • Addressing the challenges of legacy networks that rely on outdated copper technology.

In March 2023, AT&T submitted two applications to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to start the process for an orderly transition to IP-enabled wireless and fiber networks.

One of the applications that AT&T submitted, if approved, would remove AT&T’s obligation under regulatory mandate to provide traditional landline phone service in a large portion of our service territory in California – known as Carrier of Last Resort (COLR).

AT&T’s COLR obligation in California means that we must provide traditional landline phone service to any potential customer in our service territory. However, the COLR obligation no longer makes sense given that almost everyone in AT&T California’s service territory can choose among several comparable or lower-priced wireline and wireless alternatives to traditional telephone landlines for voice service.

The bottom line: No AT&T California customer will be left behind

AT&T is committed to keeping our California customers, first responders and communities connected through investing in our modern, high-speed broadband networks. We will continue to provide the products and services that consumers and businesses have come to expect, while investing in the next generation of technologies, which will benefit AT&T California consumers for years to come.

And we continue to invest in more advanced, higher speed technologies to connect more Californians. Fiber and 5G meet consumer demands for increasing speed and quality because they are better performing, more resilient technologies compared to aging, underutilized copper-based networks.

Resource Center

During this process, AT&T is committed to being fully transparent and informative.