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Windstream Plans to Discontinue Legacy Telephone Services Across 18 States

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Windstream is seeking permission from the Federal Communications Commission to discontinue a number of operator-assisted services across its ILEC and CLEC territories in 18 states.

The operator-assisted services include Bill to a Third Number, Busy Line Verify, Busy Line Interrupt, Collect Calling and Person to Person. Windstream plans to discontinue service on or after Aug. 16.

Service will be discontinued in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

According to the FCC filing, Windstream said that while the number of customers varies monthly, only about 55 customers in the affected states used the services. Windstream resells the services from AT&T, which is discontinuing the availability of the services due to low demand.

Customers shouldn’t be “unduly harmed because they are being provided ample notice of the discontinuance and customers have comparable options at comparable rates from other providers serving the affected states,” Windstream said.{ad}

Cesar Caballero, Windstream’s senior regulatory counsel, said the company “believes that the proposed discontinuance is reasonable and necessary. As outlined herein, Windstream will take reasonable steps, to the extent that is able, to (assure) that the discontinuance of this service is not unduly disruptive to the present or future public convenience and necessity.”

In a January FCC filing, AT&T said operator assistance traffic volumes have dropped by 93 percent since 2004, and on average, AT&T has experienced a more than 18.7 percent decline in the volumes of these services during the last two years.

These services have declined in popularity over the years because of the growth of other communication methods, including mobile phones, text messaging, email and other social media applications, according to AT&T.


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