Rural Call Completion Order Affects Industry

The latest issue to face the telecom industry is the rural call completion order the FCC released last year. The FCC initiated the rural call completion order to address concerns such as attempts not reaching the called party, unusually long delays in call setup and poor quality once connected.

To address the concerns, the order requires covered carriers to capture, store, and report specific call-completion data points for the purpose of calculating call answer rates and network effectiveness ratios (NER). This data must be reported by jurisdiction, aggregated based on whether the area is served by rural LECs.

Carriers are required to submit this information quarterly to the FCC and to retain call details for each rural-destined call for six months.

These requirements apply to all facilities-based long-distance providers that make initial route choice and that have 100,000 or more total domestic retail subscriber lines aggregated over all of the providers' affiliates, including LECs, IXCs, CMRS providers and VoIP providers. Additionally, there is no sunset date set for the reporting requirements. The FCC indicated that it will reevaluate the order after three years.