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Reversing Course, CPUC Extends Verizon/Tracfone Migration Deadline

The California Public Utilities Commission granted Verizon one more year to comply with a condition in the CPUC’s Verizon/Tracfone OK to migrate Tracfone customers to its network, the carrier reported to the email service list for docket A.20-11-001 Wednesday. Verizon…

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now has until Nov. 22, 2024. CPUC Executive Director Rachel Peterson in July had denied the carrier's request “on the grounds" it was “ambiguous and failed to identify any strategy changes that the company might pursue to ensure a successful customer migration process,” she said in a letter. But a revised Verizon request filed Sept. 28 “remedies the deficiencies in its prior request and demonstrates good cause,” she said. “Verizon identified additional measures it is implementing to achieve the customer migration … including ‘concierge’ live customer service support, instructional videos, and leveraging the TracFone Rewards program.” A CPUC administrative law judge last week delayed a related proceeding on an Oct. 6 petition by Center for Accessible Technology to modify the CPUC Verizon/Tracfone approval because Verizon, CforAT and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) said they were nearing a settlement (see 2311060015 and 2311030008). “Delays are not neutral,” emailed Ashley Salas, TURN telecommunication regulatory and policy attorney. “The extension means some of TracFone’s consumers will not receive any benefits from the merger for another year.”