Rural Telephone Service Bill Passes Senate Energy Committee

Wednesday, 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 passed unanimously out of Senate Energy Committee.

“SB 603 will restore a more efficient, cost effective and timely process for small telephone companies when presenting to the Public Utilities Commission,” said Senator Borgeas. “Landlines keep communities connected to the grid. We can’t start pricing people out of this service, especially when there are no other options available to them.”

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

Small telephone companies serve some of the most remote areas in California, and have as little as 360 land lines. Senator Borgeas represents several communities in the 8th Senate District who are served by small telephone companies.