CellularOne to Discontinue Wireless Service in Montana

Service will end Aug. 31

By Beacon Staff

CellularOne has notified the Montana Public Service Commission that it will be discontinuing service in the state, effective Aug. 31.

CellularOne customers are advised to find an alternative service provider prior to that date to avoid an interruption in service.

Wireless customers may select any carrier providing service in their area. However, CellularOne has negotiated with AT&T a special rate plan to customers selecting to port their service from CellularOne to AT&T. Full details of plans available may be obtained by visiting a local AT&T retail outlet. In addition, CellularOne retail location staff are available to assist customers with this transition.

CellularOne customers should be aware that their existing wireless phones will work on the AT&T network; however, those phones may not work on other wireless networks. Additionally, Lifeline customers are warned that not all wireless carriers offer a Lifeline discount so that should be kept in mind when considering a new carrier.

CellularOne was designated an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier by the PSC in 2008, allowing the company to receive approximately $20 million in federal subsidies to build-out their telecommunications infrastructure in underserved rural areas. Since that time, the Federal Communications Commission has reformed the program through which CellularOne received support, and the company has told the PSC it no longer has a viable business plan to serve Montanans.

Those who have not ported to a new carrier when CellularOne turns off its network on Aug. 31 will find themselves without service so the Public Service Commission encourages customers to not delay in researching their options and making the switch.

For more information, visit psc.mt.gov or contact the Commission at 406-444-6199.