Blumenthal ticked at AT&T

Keith Loria Dec. 6, 2010, 2:13pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Friday that he has asked the Department of Public Utility Control to enforce its $1.1 million fine on AT&T.

AT&T's fine was imposed in May because, for almost 10 years, the company had failed to meet DPUC's phone line repair standards. AT&T has contested the fine for more than six months.

"AT&T was fined for failing consistently, year after year over a decade, to fix phone lines in a timely manner," Blumenthal said.

"Failure to repair lines quickly endangers public health and safety, especially seniors and the handicapped for whom a working line is literally a lifeline."

Blumenthal says last week that AT&T had asked the DPUC to meet in secret, keeping his office and the office of consumer counsel out of the negotiations. When Blumenthal contended that this course of action was illegal, AT&T withdrew its request.

"AT&T's stalling should be stopped - and the fine enforced," Blumenthal said. "This multibillion dollar company sought secret negotiations - cutting out my office and the public - to reduce its fine for failing to meet legally required service standards.

"We halted its concealment; and now AT&T should stop its delay in paying taxpayers the fine that it owes."

In June 2009, the DPUC discovered that AT&T had not followed state law since 2001, failing to fix 90 percent of broken phone lines within 24 hours. The company failed to comply with subsequent DPUC orders to meet the standards.

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