Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to improve rural call completion. Persistent phone call completion problems in rural communities are creating major inconveniences for families, hurting businesses, and threatening public safety. The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish basic quality standards for providers that transmit voice calls to help ensure businesses, families, and emergency responders can count on phone calls being completed.
"Whether an emergency call or a business order, Vermonters should have confidence that their calls are completed without disruption," Congressman Welch said. "This bill helps address 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 would direct the FCC to require intermediate providers that transmit voice calls to register with the agency and establish quality standards for transmitting voice calls. These reforms would ensure small businesses, families, and emergency responders in rural America can once again rely upon their telephone calls being completed. The legislation is supported by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, and WTA-Advocates for Rural Broadband. In 2016, the legislation passed the House and Senate Commerce Committee.
The House passed Welch's Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act in the 114th Congress.