WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 24, 2017) – WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband applauds the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for approving S. 96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Thune (R-SD) and John Tester (D-MT). The bipartisan bill will help ensure that telephone calls to rural areas are completed as required by law.
“We’re grateful for the work that Senator Klobuchar has done to bring this issue to the attention of the Senate and that Chairman Thune recognizes the urgency and importance of solving the problem of calls not being completed in rural areas,” said Derrick Owens, WTA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “This legislation is a priority for our member companies. We’re hopeful that the movement on the Senate side and House passage of the bill yesterday signals a willingness to get this bill signed into law quickly this year.”
S. 96 requires the FCC to establish call completion standards for intermediary providers, that at times, do not route calls properly to rural areas. It forbids originating carriers from using intermediary providers that the FCC has designated as not meeting the agency’s standards. This bill was approved by the Commerce Committee last year though it did not come to the Senate floor for a vote before the 114th Congress adjourned.