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Call Completion

PVT can help if you are having trouble with your phone service.

Rural communities across the country are facing a growing crisis of failed calls. Southeastern New Mexico is no exception.

Have you had any of the following problems occur when you were using a phone in rural New Mexico?

  • Someone calling you hears ringing, but your phone never rings.
  • Someone tried calling you, but heard nothing for a minute or so, and had the call suddenly end.
  • Someone tried calling you and heard “this number is not in service” or “this call cannot be completed as dialed,” even though your number is in service and they dialed correctly.
  • Caller ID displayed an incorrect number, or no number at all.
  • Even when the call got completed, the call quality was so bad that conversation was impossible. Rural call completion problems can also prevent receipt of faxes or other data communications.

For those in rural areas, it is a potentially dangerous situation.

According to a statement by Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of the NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, “Throughout rural America, calls are simply failing to connect. With personal calls, it’s frustrating. With businesses, hospitals and first responders, call connection becomes a public safety and viability issue.”

For Peñasco Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc., the rural carrier for much of southeastern New Mexico, the issue is frustrating because the problem stems from the way that national long distance carriers treat calls to rural carriers. It is a systemic problem across the entire country.

These problems, generally called “Call Completion” problems, are not the fault of the rural telephone companies. Instead, the problem occurs somewhere in the network between the caller and the rural telephone company’s network, so the calls are never delivered to the rural company, or they are delivered in a substandard condition. Rural companies, network providers and the state and federal regulatory commissions have – and are – putting considerable resources and effort into identifying and resolving these issues, but more work remains to be done.

The FCC has become aware of the problem, and has issued huge fines to several of the national carriers for their poor business practices that treat rural communities unfairly.

For example, in January, 2015 Verizon Communications was fined $5 million by the FCC to settle a call completion investigation across 26 rural areas.

According to the FCC, cracking down on Verizon was just one of four major resolutions connected to rural call completion investigations. Matrix Telecom, Windstream and Level 3 were also fined for failures to investigate and or failure to take action on complaints.

If customers identify the issue, and take it to the FCC, the large telecom operators are now required by law to investigate. If they don’t, they can be fined heavily.

PVT is offering to help its customers track down the long-distance carriers responsible in order to cause an investigation.

While it is a difficult issue to pinpoint, because calls placed to the same number may be routed different ways each time, PVT encourages you to report the issue to them, noting the time and date of the attempt so that they can investigate and prevent these call completion issues from happening in the future.

If you have had any of these problems, take action!

Learn more about this problem and how to report it by visiting the FCC website at http://goo.gl/ZnQSh, or by visiting http://www.NTCA.org/callcompletion.

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