COLUMBUS, OHIO (Aug. 14, 2019) – Today the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ordered staff to file a formal complaint against Frontier North, Inc. regarding the telephone provider’s landline service quality. The PUCO has received numerous customer complaints regarding extended service outages which may result in safety concerns, such as a customers’ inability to contact emergency services, doctors, and family and friends.
“Customer complaints indicating extensive telecommunication outages are troubling and deserve to be examined,” stated PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo. “Today the PUCO is taking steps to investigate allegations of poor service quality.”
On Aug. 13, 2019, the PUCO staff filed a letter to the Commission citing 33 specific instances where Frontier allegedly failed to provide adequate and reliable telephone service to its basic local exchange service customers and recommended the Commission conduct a thorough investigation. Among other things, the staff identified issues concerning extended service restoration timelines, failure to provide basic telephone service that would allow customers to place or receive calls at any time and failure to comply with previous Commission orders and entries.
Today’s entry opens an investigation and directs PUCO staff to file a formal complaint against the company. Frontier will then have 20 days to respond to the allegations in the complaint.
The PUCO regulates basic local exchange service (BLES). BLES is a flat-rate landline phone service which provides access to a dial tone, 9-1-1 and long distance service. Other telecommunication services, such as mobile or internet services, are not regulated by the PUCO and not a part of this investigation.
A map of Frontier’s service territory is available on the PUCO website.
A copy of today’s Commission entry is available on the PUCO website by clicking the link to Docketing Information System (DIS) and searching for case 19-1582-TP-COC.
Here is the official complaint: https://dis.puc.state.oh.us/TiffToPDf/A1001001A19H14B55131C02529.pdf
Frontier Responds to PUCO Complaint
Circleville Online spoke with Javier Mendoza, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs with Frontier Communications.
Frontier is dedicated to safety and takes seriously its commitment to serve Ohio customers and support 911 services. Service to our customers is our highest priority. We believe Staff’s concerns can most expeditiously be addressed through informal discussion with the Staff.
Many of the complaints about Frontier’s Internet and phone service are in rural and high cost service areas. While Frontier only serves about ten percent of the wireline telephone lines in Ohio, Frontier has the sole obligation to provide traditional telephone voice service as the carrier of last resort to customers in the most rural, remote, and high-cost areas of its service area in the state. This does not accurately reflect the nature of today’s competitive telecommunications market when Frontier’s competitors do not bear this costly obligation. All the Ohio areas where Frontier provides service are open to competition from any provider that chooses to invest in and provide service there, including several satellite providers. We price our services very competitively and offer a high-value option.
We look forward to working together with Staff, the Commission and state leaders to find solutions.