House Passes Noem-Backed Bill to Improve Rural Call Quality and Reliability
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R.460, the bipartisan Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, which Rep. Noem helped introduce earlier this month. Persistent phone call completion problems in rural communities are creating major inconveniences for families, hurting businesses and threatening public safety. H.R.460 would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish basic quality standards for providers that transmit voice calls to help ensure businesses, families, and emergency responders can count on phone calls being completed.
“While most Americans can rely on their phone service to keep in touch, do their work or respond to emergencies, many in rural South Dakota continue to have these critical calls dropped,” said Rep. Noem. “Especially in this day in age, dependable phone service shouldn’t be a question. I’m hopeful that with these provisions in place, the ability to get a phone call through in rural South Dakota will be much more reliable.”
H.R.460 would direct the FCC to require intermediate providers that transmit voice calls to register with the agency and establish quality standards for transmitting voice calls. These reforms would ensure small businesses, families, and emergency responders in rural America can once again rely upon their telephone calls being completed. The legislation is supported by the South Dakota Telecommunications Association, among others.
Sen. John Thune has introduced the legislation in the Senate.