From Matt Skinner/Corporation Commission ~ The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) is joining with counterparts in other states in calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address problems that are preventing telephone calls from being completed.
The OCC has now sent a letter to the FCC supporting a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) resolution to investigate the issue and pursue a solution.
There has been a growing number of complaints in Oklahoma and other states from both telephone customers and their service providers regarding so-called “call termination” problems. Based on complaints, the problem appears to involve long distance calls made from a wireline, cellular phone or internet-based telephone service. The problem can take several forms, including:
· The caller believes the phone being called is ringing because he gets the normal ring sound, but in fact the called phone is not ringing, and the call has not been completed.
· The called phone does ring, but the party called hears nothing on the line when the call is answered.
The vast majority of the complaints related to this issue involve long distance calls made to telephone customers in rural areas. The rural telephone companies’ equipment and practices do not appear to be responsible for such instances.
Rural trade associations from across the country have told the FCC that complaints regarding call completion problems were up over 2,000 percent from March 2010 to April 2011.
Because of call termination complaints from Oklahoma telephone companies and their customers, the OCC is conducting its own inquiry into the matter. The first meeting with companies and customers was held September 7. The OCC’s Public Utility Division is gathering data as well as company and customer feedback as it continues to investigate the matter, and plans to share its findings with the FCC in an effort to help find a resolution to this nationwide problem.