[The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks public comment on proposed rules to require the collection and retention of certain data by telephone carriers in order to address rural call completion problems. The proposed rules are designed to improve the ability of the FCC to monitor call completion performance and ensure that rural areas experience the same level of reliable telephone service that is provided to the rest of the country. Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has twice written to the FCC about rural call completion problems, most recently in December.]
"For far too long, Vermonters have been experiencing unacceptable problems with telephone service. These call completion issues have been a particular problem for small businesses in Vermont. I have been urging the FCC to take action to stop these problems for some time now, including asking it to collect information from providers that might help it enforce its existing rules. The proposal put forth today is encouraging, but I will continue to talk to the FCC to ensure that it has the tools and information it needs to bring an end to this problem once and for all."