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Important Changes About Calling 9-1-1 from a Traditional Landline

If you pay for telephone service from any provider – wireless or wireline, your 9-1-1 service is not being affected, you will be able to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, and this notice does not apply to you.


Due to a recent change in California law* effective January 1, 2011, the local wireline telephone company is no longer required to provide 9-1-1 service from a disconnected residential telephone line except for a limited time period. The new law requires the phone company to mail you one of two separate notices, which will explain the limited time period associated with one of the two conditions described below.


  1. Notice to a current customer for non-payment. If your telephone service was suspended or disconnected for non-payment on or after January 1, 2011, the local wireline telephone company must mail you a disconnection notice explaining that you will continue to have access to 9-1-1 for 4 months (120 days) from the date of the notice, and describing options available to avoid suspension or disconnection of service.



  1. Notice to a non-customer at a residence with a disconnected landline. If you received a notice from the local wireline telephone company stating that there will be a change in your ability to phone 9-1-1 from an existing disconnected landline at your residence, the notice must state that you will continue to have access to 9-1-1 for ninety (90) days from the date of the notice. After the 90 day period, the local phone company can disconnect the line and you will not be able to dial 9-1-1- from it. The notice from the phone company will provide information about discounted phone service available for low income customers, as well as identify several toll free phone numbers for additional assistance.

If you believe you received either of these notices in error, please immediately call your service provider using the toll free number listed on the notice.


If you have questions or need additional information, please read the information on the local telephone company notice to identify the toll free numbers you can use for assistance.

You can also phone the CPUC’s Consumer Affairs Bureau at 1-800-962-1371 for additional information with the option to speak to a live representative.



*SB 1375 signed in September 2010 and effective January 1, 2011.


Last Modified: 12/12/2011

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