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Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Rejects CenturyLink/Lumen’s Attempt to Weaken Regulations

Last week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously rejected CenturyLink/Lumen’s attempt to eliminate service quality rules and call center answering time requirements.

CWAers played a crucial role in defeating CenturyLink/Lumen’s petition to weaken regulations. An investigation by CWA found that the company has failed to maintain its physical copper plant and has failed to deploy fiber to 46 percent of its coverage area in Minnesota. CWA’s analysis revealed that the company is prioritizing network upgrades to wealthier areas, leaving lower income communities with outdated technologies. These violations led the Minnesota Attorney General's Office and Department of Commerce to recommend that the PUC reject the company’s petition.

In addition, CWA’s comments to the PUC noted that the company’s reduction of its Minnesota workforce by 52 percent is the real cause for having limited technician resources available to respond to requests for broadband repairs and installations.

Now more than ever, access to telecommunications services is critical to our nation’s health, safety, economy, and education systems. As the PUC noted in its decision, landline service is still relevant, particularly to elderly, rural, and lower-income customers who deserve quality service protections. Keeping these protections in place will allow customers to receive quality customer service in a timely manner.