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FCC Fines Verizon $5 Million for Failed Rural Calls

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Jan 26, 2015, 4:23 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The FCC today said it has fined Verizon $5 million for failing to investigate claims of low call connection rates in rural areas. According to the FCC, Verizon didn't look into consumer complaints over an eight month period in 2013 regarding failed wireless and wired calls in 26 rural regions. Verizon is to pay $2 million to the U.S. Treasury and set aside $3 million more to improve call connection rates over the next three years. "Rural call completion problems have significant and immediate public interest ramifications," said the FCC. "They cause rural businesses to lose customers, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications." Verizon signed a consent decree admitting its wrongdoing. The decree also lists a number of steps Verizon has agreed to take to resolve the issue, such as appoint an ombudsman to analyze call completion data, monitor call connection rates in rural areas, and investigate when connection rates fall behold a set threshold.



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Jan 26, 2015, 5:47 PM

We Live In America

We live in America, not some 3rd world nation where cellular service is enjoyed only by members of the wealthy government overseeing the poor citizens...

There is absolutely, 100% no reason, NONE, that we cant provide service to people in rural areas successfully. Stop blaming the cost, the client ratio, the percentage of calls made vs other areas, and just run towers, lines and the links out there. There is no reason we live in America, yet we boast about our tech advances, but haven't been able to get cell service to the upper central region of Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, etc...

Get it together!
I concur.
You mean we live in The United States of America?

Last time I checked America was whole CONTINENT not just one country.
"There is absolutely, 100% no reason, NONE, that we cant provide service to people in rural areas successfully."

Yes there is, that reason is called 'technical limitations'. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to provide cellular service in ...
A great thought and I would love to see every American receive cell phone reception, but we have to remember these companies are businesses. The primary goal for every business is to make money. So, if the costs outweigh the profit return, I wouldn't ...
If you don't like Verizon's coverage, then switch carriers.

You have no right to FORCE or MANDATE any company to do something special just for you.

Jan 28, 2015, 4:55 PM

Thanks to the FCC ...

... in other news "Verizon Raising Activation and Upgrade Fees Feb. 5"

Spread the wealth!

Jan 28, 2015, 4:41 PM

Retaliation for not helping the FCC with net "neutrality"

This is politics.

Do not forget that the FCC is a POLITICAL machine, run by control freaks.

This is retaliation for VZW standing up the the FCC. Make no mistake.
Brad K

Jan 26, 2015, 4:52 PM

Gov now telling businesses how to spend their money?

"Verizon is to pay $2 million to the U.S. Treasury and set aside $3 million more to improve call connection rates over the next three years."

Slippery slope...
I've said it before on this site, and I'll site and I'll say it again: the FCC is becoming a rogue agency. The tales of FCC abuses of power are becoming too numerous to count.
It's called "regulation."
I've seen this reported in a few other media outlets and it appears the crux of the government's argument is that its related to Verizon's use of Universal Service Fund dollars for rural coverage costs in these areas. Along with this come certain obl...
it's more accurate to say its along the lines of "The Government is now telling Massive Big Business how to INVEST their MASSIVE PROFITS along areas that are not as profitable in order to keep Federal backing and Federal licenses to keep providing ser...

Jan 27, 2015, 6:00 AM

The Reason That Only Verizon Was Fined

Because AT&T and T-Mobile don't have that problem -- they solved it by simply providing "no calling" in rural areas. 🤣

Sprint escaped being fined, but the FCC did instruct them to "get off their damned phones once in a while" so that Verizon customers could make calls, too. 😉
There is not a single place in America that I have been, in all my travels, where I have been unable to get at&t coverage if Verizon had coverage. Not once, and i've been in nearly 40 states with at&t phone traveling for business.

Jan 27, 2015, 8:13 AM


Let's be real, I had Verizon and lived just outside city limits at the time. It wasn't even a typical rural area, this was a large residential area that had been developed for decades. There was nothing wrong with my signal and call quality in the beginning, but by the time I moved away (about 4yrs later), I could not get a call. Several of my neighbors (also Verizon customers) had the same issue. I had to walk out to the street to make a call, and there we would all be, lined up at the edge of the road, in a long line... it looked like a bad commercial. Verizon received call after call, complaint after complaint, but refused to even provide hope... or any explanation.

Jan 26, 2015, 8:55 PM

They need the "Can you hear me now" guy back

They tried to call him...But, I guess he was out in the country side, and the call did not go through.

Jan 26, 2015, 7:15 PM

most reliable??

My A$$
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