For Immediate Release: January 11, 2017
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners applauds the reintroduction of the bipartisan Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017 in the House and Senate.
Introduced jointly in the Senate by Commerce Committee Chairman Thune (R-SD), Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jon Tester (D-MT) and in the House by Reps. David Young (R-IA) and Peter Welch (D-VT), the bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure the integrity of voice communications and to prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of such communications.
NARUC has issued the following statements in response to this action:
“Rural America has, for years, faced problems with call completion. This is more than a matter of convenience—access to reliable phone service is a matter of public safety. NARUC and its members have been engaged with the intrastate aspects of this problem and we have advocated diligently for increased federal oversight of the interstate aspects. This bill should be adopted, as its passage will help ensure the service level rural communities receive is equal to that of their urban counterparts.”
—NARUC President Robert Powelson of Pennsylvania
“I am grateful to Sens. Thune, Klobuchar and Tester and Reps. Young and Welch for their leadership in helping the American rural communities, who have been unfairly plagued by this problem. The state savings clause included in the bill will allow states to continue to exercise their authority to address intrastate call completion problems while providing the Federal Communications Commission tools to manage issues on the interstate level. State Commissions will continue to play an important and active role on this front.”
—NARUC Committee on Telecommunications Chair Chris Nelson of South Dakota
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.