For Immediate Release: June 29, 2016
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners applauds the passage of S. 827: Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2015 by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jon Tester (D-MT), 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:
“Rural America has, for years, faced problems with call completion. NARUC and its members have been engaged with the intrastate aspects of this problem and we have diligently advocated for increased federal oversight of the interstate aspects. Passage of the bill will help ensure the service level rural communities receive is equal to that of their urban counterparts.”
—NARUC President Travis Kavulla of Montana
“I am grateful to Sens. Klobuchar and Tester 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 FCC tools to deal with problems 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
A key aspect of the bill is that the Federal Communications Commission is directed “to: (1) ensure the integrity of the transmission of voice communications to all customers in the United States, (2) prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of such voice communications, and (3) make a registry of intermediate providers publicly available on the FCC website.”
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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.
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