Rural telecom groups: Call completion needs improvement in rural areas

A group of rural telecom associations has released the results of a call completion project, which revealed that calls to rural areas were not being completed "as reliably and effectively as calls to non-rural areas."

The study was conducted by four groups: National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) and the Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA).

Despite seeing what they said was a "modest improvement" over a similar test conducted in September 2011, the groups maintain that there's still a high level of call completion issues.

In the current study, call failure rates were 13 times higher and that poor voice quality or delay setup was much higher in rural areas versus non-rural areas. Also, a third of rural test lines showed completion problems on over 20 percent of incoming calls.

Between April 9 and April 13, a group of volunteers in both rural and non-rural locations using various IXCs, wireless operators and VoIP services, made calls to 115 rural and non-rural test lines in 40 states.

Each of the four consortia leaders asked the FCC to take action to follow up on their earlier actions to create a Call Completion Task Force and the adoption of a February Declaratory Ruling advising providers of potential liability for call failures.

For more:
- see the release

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