NEXT TUESDAY: #SubCommTech to Markup H.R. 2566 & H.R. 2669
WASHINGTON, DC – The Communications and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), today held a hearing examining H.R. 2566, Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, introduced by Rep. David Young (R-IA).
Members examined the persistent problems many Americans living in rural areas have when it comes to receiving long distance or wireless calls on their landline telephones. Despite attempts made by the FCC to address the lingering issues problems still persist. H.R. 2566 would require intermediate providers to register with the FCC and comply with the service quality standards set by the agency.
In his testimony, Eric LeBeau, General Manager at Dakin Farms discussed the drawbacks of “least cost routing”, commenting, “The completion of calls should not be based on your location or a company’s need for greater profits. In the case of emergency a parent should not have issues getting ahold of the school or their child because of these practices. Business owners should not have their years of hard work affected by the same reckless practices.”
Lance Miller, President of the McClure Telephone Company and testifying on behalf of the Rural Broadband Association threw his support behind H.R. 2566, stating, “The problem persists, so more must be done to ensure that call quality and reliability improves and that no entity may unreasonably discriminate against consumers and businesses in rural America. Congress should pass H.R. 2566 to require least-cost routers to register with the FCC and abide by minimum standards for call completion, and to ensure originating providers use registered least-cost routers.”
“As we continue our efforts to promote America’s technological leadership in so many spaces, we can’t ignore the day-to-day issues that continue to plague consumers,” said Chairman Walden. “This bipartisan, common-sense legislation ensures that rural consumers are not left behind.”
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) concluded, “It has never been easier to pick up the phone and dial a number to be in touch with friends and loved ones, no matter where they are in the country. But for those living in rural areas in Southwest Michigan and across the country, this connection isn’t always guaranteed. It’s time we set higher standards for the integrity of our networks, but more importantly, for the benefit of our constituents.”
The subcommittee will convene for a markup of H.R. 2566 and H.R. 2669, the Anti-Spoofing Act of 2015 next Monday, September 12, 2016, at 5 p.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building for opening statements only. Members will reconvene on Tuesday, September 13, at 10 a.m. in 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Information for next week’s markup, including electronic copies of H.R. 2566 and H.R. 2669 can be found on the Energy and Committee’s website HERE. A background memo, amendments, and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.