The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act (H.R. 460), legislation introduced by Iowa Congressman David Young and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch to address call quality and reliability standards in rural areas.
"Reliable communication is critical for our constituents to live their lives, for our businesses to succeed, and for our communities to thrive," Congressman Young said. "Yet, in rural states and areas across America, phone calls are not getting through or the connection and quality are poor. A family in rural America should not be disadvantaged because of where they live and Iowa businesses should have the same communication access to conduct daily business as those in urban areas."
"Whether an emergency call or a business order, Americans should have confidence that their calls are completed without disruption," Congressman Welch said. "This bill addresses the epidemic of dropped calls in rural America and will ensure calls to emergency responders, businesses, customers, family and friends are reliably connected."
The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act requires intermediary providers to register with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and to meet quality standards ensuring rural Americans can rely on phone service. It also prohibits providers from using any intermediary routing services not registered with the FCC.
This same legislation passed the U.S. House in November of 2016 but was not considered by the U.S. Senate prior to the adjournment of the 114th Congress.
The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act again heads to the U.S. Senate for final consideration before it can advance to President Trump's desk for his signature.