NTCA Applauds Final Passage of Rural Call Completion Legislation

For Immediate Release
Contact: 
Kelly Wismer, 703-351-2015, kwismer@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (February 9, 2018)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today commended final passage of the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act in the House of Representatives. Identical versions of the act passed in both the Senate and the House in 2017 before final passage today. The bill will now go to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

Mitigating call completion issues has long been a priority of the rural telecommunications industry, and NTCA applauds the many members of Congress and their staff who have worked diligently for several years to help address this issue.

In particular, NTCA thanks Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R–S.D.), and Sen. Jon Tester (D–Mont.) for their sponsorship of the Senate Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act (S. 96), Reps. David Young (R–Iowa) and Peter Welch (D–Vt.) for their sponsorship of identical legislation in the House (H.R. 460), and for the support of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, including the committee’s chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R–Oregon).

“Final passage of this NTCA supported legislation is a critical step on the long road to resolving the call quality and reliability issues that have plagued rural Americans for years,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “We hope implementation of this measure will bring greater transparency to the call routing marketplace and sends a bipartisan message about the importance of on-going efforts to solve call completion problems that threaten public safety, businesses and the general well-being of countless Americans.”

Once implemented, the legislation will require intermediate telecommunications providers that transmit voice calls from one destination to another to register with the FCC and comply with service quality standards established by the agency.

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year.