Cutting Red Tape: Rural Telephone Bill Gains Senate Approval

Sacramento – Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno), presented Senate Bill 603 to reinstate a streamlined and cost effective rate case process for small telephone companies. The bill unanimously passed the Senate 37-0 on Thursday.

“SB 603 will assist small telephone companies that deliver affordable and reliable communication services to remote areas of the state,” said Senator Borgeas. 

For more than 20 years, small rural telephones companies were granted the ability to file informal rate cases. However, due to recent regulatory changes, companies are now required to file formally every five years. The new process is costly and cumbersome to small telephone companies. On average, the formal rate case process can take 18 months or longer to complete, while the informal process takes less than a year.

Small telephone companies serve some of the most remote areas in California, and may have as few as 400 customers.