AT&T, small business customer tangle over Voice DNA VoIP service shutdown plans

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AT&T wants to discontinue its Voice DNA service for small businesses, but Concord, California-based law firm Roscha & Odne LLP, which is a current customer, is concerned that it would suffer without phone and internet service in place.

The law firm asked the FCC to ensure that the telco does not shut down the service until it has found a replacement service.

Since 2011, the law firm has used the Voice DNA service. On Jan. 10, the law firm received a letter from AT&T dated Dec. 28, 2016, that the telco would shut down the service on Feb. 15, 2017.

Nicholas Roscha, one of the law firm’s partners, told the FCC that since it received the notice from AT&T it has been searching for a replacement service from a number of other providers.

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While a number of providers have already responded with various proposals, it would take over a month to get a service installed. This means the earliest the law firm would have a replacement service in place would be around April 15.

Roscha said in a letter to the FCC (PDF) that “those that provided proposals have indicated that it would take 3-45 days from signing a contract to be able to pull wiring, supply equipment and get us up and running,” adding that “all of this would be at our cost.”

As Roscha & Odne LLP transitions to a new service, Roscha asked the FCC “to consider its comments and insure AT&T does not discontinue service until we have alternative services in place.”

Roscha also asked if the FCC would require AT&T to reimburse the law firm for the costs to obtain “replacement services.”

In an FCC filing (PDF), AT&T requested that the FCC approve its Section 63.71 application to discontinue AT&T Voice DNA for Small Business service.

Like other service providers, AT&T said the reason it needs to shut off the service is because one of its vendors no longer supports the voice platform.

AT&T cited an e-mail from Deborah Munson, senior product marketing manager at AT&T Services telling Roscha that the telco would not automatically shut off service on Feb. 15.  

“We understand that it can take time to install replacement services,” Munson said in the e-mail. “AT&T will not initiate discontinuance of your service on or before May 1, 2017," adding that if any delays occur while installing new service by that date to contact AT&T “to advise of the delay.”