What You Need to Know About the Rural Call Completion Issue
Are long-distance calls not getting through to you? Many people living in rural America are still experiencing intermittent problems receiving long-distance phone calls from across the country. You may have encountered any of the following:
- Someone tells you he/she tried to call you but the call didn’t get through, or the caller heard ringing but you didn’t.
- A call came through to you but the quality was poor.
- A call came through but the Caller ID was incorrect.
Failed or degraded calls not only undermine the integrity of the nation’s telephone networks and frustrate consumers, but they also pose a serious risk to public safety and harm the rural economy. For example, schools may not be able to reach parents with critical alerts, and small businesses may be losing customers.
The problem starts with the long-distance carrier used by the customer who makes the call, and can only be resolved by this carrier. Local telecommunications providers, such as GRM Networks, are not the cause of the problem. We strive to provide excellent service at all times, and are as frustrated as you are by the illegal practices of some long-distance carriers and their agents.
Action is currently being taken by the FCC and its Rural Call Completion Task Force. It includes staff from the agency’s Wireline Competition, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Enforcement Bureaus. Most recently, the Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Declaratory Ruling to clarify the FCC’s stated prohibition on actions taken by companies which may restrict telephone traffic in any way.
This ruling reminds long-distance carriers that it is illegal to block, choke or reduce long distance traffic and that this prohibition also includes any practices that lead to call termination or call quality problems as well. These practices would violate the Communications Act of 1934 because it is seen as unreasonable discrimination of those of us who reside in rural areas of the United States. To read the entire document, visit: www.fcc.gov/document/wcb-issues-declaratory-ruling-rural-call-completion-issues
There are things you can do to help:
- Ask for the name of the long-distance carrier used by the person trying to reach you.
- Call GRM Networks and give us the name of the carrier used by the caller, your phone number and the number of the person trying to call you, and the date and time of the problem call. We’ll contact the carrier on your behalf to try and resolve the issue.
- Go to www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/problems-long-distance-or-wireless-calling-rural-areas for more information on the call completion issue or to file a complaint with the FCC against the carrier used by the person trying to call you (not GRM Networks). Encourage your caller to do the same.
We’ll continue to monitor this situation and keep you updated. As always, please contact us if you have concerns, and we’ll assist you in any way we can.
If you’d like to read more on call completion issues, please visit http://www.ntca.org/advocacy/call-termination.html