FCC looks into rural call completion problems

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"This causes rural businesses to lose customers, cuts families off from their relatives in rural areas, and creates potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications in rural areas," the commission wrote.

The FCC asked for public comments on rules that would require phone companies to collect and report data that would allow the FCC to monitor the company's performance in specific areas. 

In a statement, Chairman Julius Genachowksi said the evidence of rural call completion problems is overwhelming.

"In too many towns across the country, the basic ability of all Americans to reliably receive phone calls — a bedrock of America’s communication policy — has come into doubt," he said. "This has serious economic, safety and other consequences."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), one of the senators who signed the letter to the FCC in December, applauded the commission's decision to look into the problem.

“For far too long, Vermonters have been experiencing unacceptable problems with telephone service," he said in a statement. "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.”

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