COPPEROPOLIS (CBS13) – People in several counties like Calaveras are having phone problems as their land lines are going dead, leaving many without service in the rural communities.

Many move out to the rural areas to get away from the buzz of a big city, but — as Ed Neiman says — that doesn’t meant they want to be off the grid.

“We do have a problem with people when they are trying to contact me. It’s hard to know how many calls we are missing,” he said.

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Neiman owns his own national transportation company. He works from his home office, relying on a land line that seems to often go off the hook.

“Our congressmen need to know this is happening to rural America,” said Neiman.

He says many clients call him only to get ringing or a busy signal, or nothing at all.

“It may be routed to Chicago, New York, Atlanta, then who knows where. Then finally get to Copperoplis, because it’s the least cost for major areas,” said Neiman.

The caller’s phone provider may be the problem. Neiman has been told some phone companies go after the lowest cost connection, leaving rural America with dead air.

A statement on the phone provider’s website, Caltel, says, “Caltel is aware of these issues and is actively involved in working to resolve them. Unfortunately, this issue is a national problem involving many carriers and larger in scope than just the network that we control.”

“We have problems with our children who live out of the area, who call with our landline,” said Frankie Keoper.

Getting a hold of anyone in Copperpolis seems to be a toss up.

“We miss calls. Somebody’s trying to get a hold of us and they don’t understand the problem. Then they quit calling,” said Keoper.

People are paying for that service and say they just want a connection — one they can count on to pick up the line.

If you’re having problems with your phone, the Federal Communications Commission website says you can complain to your phone provider or file an online complaint.

Neiman hopes the more complaints, the more the phone company will dial up its action.

Caltel told their customers they’ve been going to FCC hearings to resolve the issues.


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