Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


John Leary


Following the breakup of AT&T, local telephone companies began growing quickly. However, when the Public Utilities Commission approves a private company's application to offer telephone service to a community, problems can arise, for both the community and that company's subcontractors. This note analyzes a conflict between the California Public Utilities Code and certain provisions of the California Civil Code, which suggests that subcontractors may not be protected by either mechanics' liens or stop notices in their dealings with those local companies. The note suggests that utilities be considered public entities, resulting in protection of subcontrators through the posting of payment bonds. Any increase in cost to the public, the author argues, is worth the certainty and fairness achieved for subcontractors.