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Matrix Telecom To Pay $875k To Resolve Rural Call Investigation

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Released: June 4, 2014


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

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. Cir. 1974).



June 4, 2014

Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253




Company Will Implement a Three-Year Compliance Plan

Washington, DC – Matrix Telecom, Inc., a telecommunications company headquartered in Irving, Texas,

will pay $875,000 to resolve an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement

Bureau into whether the company failed to complete long-distance calls to rural areas on a just, reasonable,

and non-discriminatory basis.

Matrix will also implement a three-year plan to ensure compliance with FCC

requirements designed to combat the serious problem of long-distance calls failing to complete in rural areas.

“Our nation’s telecommunications laws are based on the fundamental promise that all Americans should be

able to call each other wherever they may be located,” said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement

Bureau. “Rural America should not be treated differently, and we will continue to enforce the law to fulfill

this promise.”

In its consent decree with the Enforcement Bureau, Matrix has agreed to:

Make a payment of $875,000 to the U.S. Treasury;

Develop and implement a comprehensive compliance plan designed, among other things, to ensure

future compliance with applicable laws;

Designate a senior corporate manager to serve as a compliance officer focusing on rural call

completion issues;

Cooperate with the FCC and rural local exchange carriers to establish a testing program to evaluate

rural call completion performance whenever complaints or data indicate problems;

Notify intermediate providers (companies that Matrix uses to deliver calls) that may be causing call

completion problems and analyze and resolve such problems as soon as practicable;

Cease using intermediate providers that fail to improve their performance;

Report to the FCC any noncompliance with the consent decree within 15 days; and

File an initial compliance report in 90 days and annual reports for three years.

The Bureau initiated its investigation of Matrix (and companies Matrix had acquired, including Excel

Telecommunications and Vartec Telecom) as a result of serious allegations about the company’s ability to

reliably complete long-distance calls dialed to rural areas. These included complaints from consumers and

from rural carriers, responses by inter-exchange carriers to complaints served by the Commission’s Rural Call

Completion Task Force, and performance data from other carriers that used Matrix as an intermediate

provider. During the course of the investigation, the Bureau obtained and examined months of call

completion data from Matrix’s retail and wholesale operations. After it received notice of the investigation,

Matrix significantly reduced the number of intermediate providers (often called “least cost routers”) that it

used to deliver long-distance calls to rural areas. As a result of those routing changes, Matrix’s call

completion performance to rural areas substantially improved. In addition, Matrix made significant


investments to upgrade its network and related operations to improve rural call completion performance. In

combination with the changes that Matrix has made as a result of the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation, the

consent decree resolves the Bureau’s investigation into Matrix’s practices and performance in completing

long-distance calls over its own network or through the use of intermediate providers.

This is the third major resolution of a rural call completion investigation in the last 15 months.

In March

2013, Level 3 Communications, LLC paid $975,000 to settle the Bureau’s investigation of its rural call

completion performance, and in February 2014, Windstream Corporation paid $2.5 million to settle the

Bureau’s investigation of its rural call completion performance. Links to each consent decree appear below.

Matrix consent decree:

Windstream consent decree:


Level 3 consent decree:


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