Posted October 16, 2018 06:24:30 California is planning to reopening the nation’s largest mobile hotspot operator’s plan in the face of an ongoing federal investigation into the company’s billing practices, the state’s top telecommunications regulator said Tuesday.
In a written statement, Commissioner Mike O’Rielly said the state will begin reopening two-thirds of the five-year contract, which expired on Oct. 1, with all existing customers of the Orange County-based hotspot provider, which is owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and operates a network of more than 300 hotspots nationwide.
“The state of California is proud to be able to offer our valued customers the opportunity to continue to enjoy the benefits of the Open Connect program, while remaining in our community,” O’Reilly said in a statement.
The Orange County Public Utilities Commission is working with the federal government to determine if the program is constitutional, O’Brien said.
Verizon spokeswoman Lauren Azzopardi said in an email that the company does not comment on ongoing investigations.
O’Reilly, a Democrat, has said the investigation was unnecessary and was politically motivated.
California’s reopening of the contracts follows the release of a letter from the Attorney General’s Office saying the FBI had obtained a warrant to obtain records from Verizon and the California Public Utilities Agency, which owns the hotspot network, about the billing practices of the two companies.
The letters said that Verizon used deceptive billing practices and that it did not comply with state and federal laws, and that the state had not cooperated fully with federal investigations into the matter.
Azzopardia said in the same letter that the companies have been cooperating fully with the FBI.