On May 7, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning potential actions it is considering to address problems associated with rural long-distance call completion. Initial Comments are due May 13, 2013 and Reply Comments are due May 28, 2013. Because of the reduced notice, interested parties may advise Steve Rowings of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau that they intend to file comments, but are unable to do so by the current deadlines.

In the NPRM, the FCC states that intermediate, wholesale long-distance carriers may be failing to deliver a significant number of calls to rural areas, while retail long-distance carriers may not be adequately monitoring the rural call completion performance of these wholesale carriers.

The FCC is proposing rules that would require facilities-based originating long-distance carriers to collect and retain basic information on call attempts and to periodically undertake call completion analyses and report the results to the FCC. As part of these proposed rules, any originating long-distance carrier that has more than 100,000 retail long-distance subscribers would be required to:

  • Measure the call answer rate for each rural Operating Company Number (OCN) to which 100 or more calls are attempted per month;
  • Submit to the FCC monthly call completion data segregated by rural and non-rural OCNs on a quarterly basis; and
  • Retain records for the preceding six months concerning each long-distance call handled in a readily retrievable form.

A copy of the NPRM can be found here. To see the Federal Register publication, click here.