Problems with long distance or wireless calling to rural areas
People who live in rural areas all around the country, including Oskaloosa, are reporting that long distance or wireless calls to them are not getting through, or are coming through at very low quality. If your landline telephone is working (for example, you can make calls and are receiving local calls) but you learn that long-distance or wireless callers have been unable to reach you at your home or business -- even when you are there or have an answering machine on -- you may be experiencing "failure to complete" problems.
Here is a list of the symptoms:
- Someone tells you they tried to call you but your phone never rang.
- Someone tells you they tried to call you and the phone rang on their end, but didn't ring on yours.
- Someone tells you they tried to call you, your phone rang, when you answered the line was dead.
- A call came through but the quality was poor.
- A call came through but the Caller ID was incorrect.
What is the cause of these problems?
The problem starts with the carrier used by the person who makes the call, not your local telecommunications provider. The problem can only be resolved by the carrier of the person who makes the call.Long distance or wireless carriers have to pay charges to the local telephone company to complete calls. To minimize these charges, some long-distance and wireless carriers contract with third-party "least-cost routing" service providers to connect calls to their destination at the lowest cost possible. Although many of these contracts include strictly-defined performance parameters, it appears that all too frequently those performance levels are not being met or, indeed, some calls are not even connecting at all.
In layman’s terms, the carrier of the person who makes the call is trying to the find the absolute least cost to get the call from point A, the caller, to point B, you. Think of it like a car driving across the nation taking only back country roads to avoid paying tollways to use interstates. The end result is less than satisfactory. The call might be very poor quality by the time it has taken all those “back roads,” or worse, not get to you at all.
What is being done to fix these problems?
This nationwide epidemic is negatively affecting rural businesses, public safety, and our relationship with our customers. In other words, we’re just as frustrated as you are! Rural carriers have complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state agencies. The FCC has created a task force to investigate and address this issue, and rural telco advocates are encouraging swift and severe action against all the providers who are the center of the problem.
Help us Help You Fight this Issue
We are hopeful that these large nationwide providers involved in these issues and the FCC will act quickly to address these problems and tighten the restrictions against these carriers who utilize Least Cost Routing. As a company we are fighting this, but we need your help. Every voice counts, and our state and national legislators need to know the depth of the issues involved with Least Cost Routing.
Here’s what you can do to help. You can file informal wired telephone complaints against the carrier of the person trying to reach you (not MCG) and encourage the person who tried to call you to do the same. File a submission through each of the below outlets. Ask for the name of the long distance carrier used by the person who is trying to reach you. You can use the text found here for the body of your complaint; feel free to personalize it by outlining the impact it has had on you in your daily personal and/or professional life.
You can also submit your form by calling 888-225-5322.
For the FCC to take action on your complaint, you must provide the caller’s number, the called number, and the date the attempted calls or problem calls were made. If possible, you should also identify the long distance or wireless telephone service provider that serves the caller.
- Complaint to the United States Senators and Representative for our district: Send a complaint letter to the representative for your area (listed below).
- Chuck Grassley, http://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm
- Tom Harkin, http://www.harkin.senate.gov/contact_opinion.cfm
- Dave Loebsack, https://loebsack.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/
- You can also provide the same information to us here at MCG and we will do everything we can to try and resolve this. However, past experience tells us that working with other providers can be difficult. They do not consider MCG their customer so they are reluctant to cooperate. Here is MCG’s contact information:
- Phone: 641-676-1111