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Panel Probes Widespread Landline Phone Outages

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Pacoima lawmaker is behind a new effort to find out why over 100,000 residents were without landline phone service weeks after storms dumped rain across the Southland.

State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) held a hearing convened by the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee on Friday to determine what efforts providers AT&T and Verizon need to make to restore service.

KNX 1070’s Bill Cooper reports the consensus appears to be the “unprecedented” outages can be directly linked to ongoing labor issues.

In addition to soliciting input from providers, Padilla also sought to get public feedback on the outages.

While residential landline phone use has dipped significantly in recent years with the rise in cell phone popularity, the California Public Utilities Commission is still tasked with regulating landline service quality in a telecommunications market where more customers than ever get voice service through wireless and web-based technologies.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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