Regulators deny CenturyLink’s bid to change landline rules

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota regulators unanimously rejected CenturyLink’s petition to ease rules on landline service repairs, saying those customers should not suffer because most people have switched to broadband.

CenturyLink had petitioned the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to scrap two long-standing regulations covering customer service response times. The company says it has lost 85% of its wired phone business in Minnesota since 2001, and 4.4% of all households rely solely on a landline for voice phone service.

The Star Tribune reports that PUC commissioners questioned whether broadband was at odds with CenturyLink’s service obligations to landline customers.

Commissioner Valerie Means says landline service is still important, particularly to elderly, rural and lower-income customers.