California demands Verizon, AT&T pay for own network investigations

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California demands Verizon, AT&T pay for own network investigations

The California Public Utilities Commission has decided to launch an investigation into both Verizon and AT&T, claiming both networks failed to consistently provide quality service to their customers. What's more, the CAPUC is insisting that the carriers pay for the investigation themselves. The investigations were first proposed back in the winter of 2010 after storms repeatedly knocked out services to customers. In 2011, the commission found that neither network was restoring services after outages within prescribed (and standardized) time limits. By 2013, the PUC had decided a "study of carrier network infrastructure, facilities, policies, and practices" was necessary and culminated at the end of last month after the PUC rejected Verizon and AT&T's complaints of financial responsibility.

According to AT&T, the PUC's service metric is "inherently flawed" and should be eliminated given the "competitive market" in which it operates. Verizon, conversely, has argued that both networks are "healthy and reliable," so long as one doesn't base that assessment off of metrics employed by the PUC. The PUC however shot back, stating that regulated entities aren't allowed to dictate how government regulators may regulate them or by what metrics regulators can use: "All existing service measures and standards remain in place at this time, and cannot be simply disregarded at the regulated entity's request."

Moving forward, CAPUC will launch the investigation -- employing an independent investigator -- and report back regarding their "progress towards its completion" within six months. Within three months, the PUC will need to report its progress towards collecting funding from the two carriers.

[Image Credit: Associated Press]

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