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FCC Launches Rural Call Completion Task Force, Sets Oct. 18 Workshop

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Released: September 26, 2011

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
September 26, 2011
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
Email: mark.wigfield@fcc.gov

FCC LAUNCHES RURAL CALL COMPLETION TASK FORCE

TO ADDRESS CALL ROUTING AND TERMINATION PROBLEMS IN RURAL AMERICA

Task Force To Hold Workshop October 18; Intercarrier Compensation Reform Is Long-Term Solution


Washington, D.C. Today the Federal Communications Commission announced the creation of the Rural
Call Completion Task Force to investigate and address the growing problem of calls to rural customers
that are being delayed or that fail to connect.
Rural telephone companies have reported a 2000% increase in complaints between April 2010 and March
2011 regarding incoming calls that are delayed, never completed, of poor quality, or lack accurate caller
ID information. 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.
The problem appears to be occurring in rural areas where long-distance carriers pay charges to complete
calls to the local telephone company, calls which may be delivered using specialized call routing
providers. The FCC is working to comprehensively reform the system that sets these rates the
intercarrier compensation system to reduce opportunities and incentives for arbitrage and other
manipulation schemes. Reform proposals would also tighten rules that require carriers to provide
accurate information about call origin for billing and other purposes.
The Task Force will hold a workshop tentatively scheduled for October 18 to identify specific causes
of the problem and discuss potential solutions with key stakeholders. Details about the workshop are
forthcoming. Issues for the Task Force and Workshop include:

The extent of the call termination problem in rural areas

The causes of the problem, including whether carriers are violating the law by
blocking or restricting calls to other carriers

Actions that can be taken by the Commission to address the problem
The Rural Call Completion Task Force includes staff from the agency's Wireline Competition, Public
Safety and Homeland Security, and Enforcement Bureaus.
-FCC-
News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found
on the Commission's web site www.fcc.gov.

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