Phones

Living in a remote area has both its advantages and drawbacks. Nowadays we're are a lot less isolated than let's say twenty years ago, because communication has taken giant steps in that period of time. Now we can easily communicate with the outside world using a variety of media. Almost every home now uses cell phones, the internet, and we can watch television unrestricted by the programming that was only available from Elephant Mountain here in Silver Valley many years ago. Emergency services can now be contacted using a system significantly enhanced with modern technologies such as GPS positioning for not only quicker agency response to emergencies, but the ability for those agencies to get to a location that was difficult or impossible to find in the old days.

But some of our residents, here in Newberry Springs, can't afford some of the more exotic mediums of communication, cell phones, or internet, and are forced to rely on older land lines, which seem to be deteriorating at an alarming rate.

True, there are tax-payer subsidized programs available that make cell phones for emergency use available to those who cannot afford them, but there is little reason not to expect better service from a utility, to which our monthly remittances for service continue to get larger, while the availability of that service continues to deteriorate.

At the time of this writing, and a  week prior, phone communications here in Newberry have been terrible at best, and in a large number of cases essentially non-existent. The problems seemed to have started about the time that the rains occurred, and have progressively worsened. Reports from those who have contacted Verizon about the problem, have received a somewhat consistent answer that it will be a week or so before reliable service is restored. Sounds just a little unbelievable.

Residents have called this writer asking that something be done about the problem, so I've been looking around for ways to get Verizon's attention so to speak. There are of course political channels that are generally only as effective as the politician's desire to serve contituents. Those contacts can be found on this page here on the site. The County Supervisor would probably be more responsive than others beyond our local area.

Possible Contacts to Resolve the Problem

Verizon's web site has an email contact link, https://www.verizon.com/support/residential/contact-us/index.htm.

The California Public Utilities Commission can be contacted at https://appsssl.cpuc.ca.gov/cpucapplication/, but usually the first thing they ask is whether or not you have personally contacted the utility (Verizon in this case).

Senator Jean Fuller's field rep frequently visits the Barstow Area Chamber. It might be a good idea to drop in with your concerns. Access her mobile office hours here



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