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Industry Impact: Rural Call Completion Order

By Amy Oldham - This article was published on page 26 in Comptel Plus Spring 2014 Show Daily Day 2.

The telecommunications industry is constantly evolving. The spring of 2014 is certainly no exception. Many changes come about as a result of technology advancements, shifts in consumer and market trends, and regulatory requirements. The latest issue to affect our industry is the Rural Call Completion order that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released last year (FCC 13-135), with the latest round of comments recently closing on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). And, if you’ve read the order, you know it impacts most carriers in our industry.

TeleLink can store and report all call completion data needed to comply with the Rural Call Completion order.

The FCC initiated the Rural Call Completion order in an effort to address concerns surrounding rural call completion issues, including attempts not reaching the called party, unusually long delay in call setup, and poor quality once connected.

To address these concerns, the order requires covered carriers to capture, store, and report specific call completion data points for the purpose of calculating call answer rates and Network Effectiveness Ratios (NER). This data must be reported by jurisdiction, aggregated based on whether the area is served by rural LECS. Carriers are required to submit this information quarterly to the FCC. Additionally, carriers must retain call details for each rural destined call for a period of six months. As it currently stands, these requirements apply to all facilities-based long distance service providers who make initial route choice and who have 100,000 or more total domestic retail subscriber lines aggregated over all of the providers’ affiliates. This definition includes LECs, IXCs, CMRS providers, and VoIP providers. Additionally, there is no sunset date set for the reporting requirements. The FCC has indicated it will reevaluate the order after three years.

You may be wondering what steps you need to take to ensure compliance with the order. If you currently have a usage data processing system in place, first check with your vendor to verify that you are capturing the following data from call detail records:

  • calling party number;
  • called party number;
  • date;
  • time;
  • indication of whether call was handed off to intermediate provider (if yes, provider’s name);
  • rural OCN associated with the called party number;
  • classifications of the call attempt as interstate or intrastate;
  • call answer status (which may take the form of an SS7 signaling cause code or SIP signaling message code associated with each call attempt); and
  • an indication whether the call attempt was completed to the ILEC but signaled as busy, ring no answer or unassigned number(which may also take the form of an SS7 signaling cause code or SIP signaling message code associated with each call attempt).

Second, make sure the usage data processing system can output a file displaying the needed answer rates, NER, and rural vs. non-rural exchange comparisons. Next, determine the range of data your system currently warehouses as well as its capacity for increased data retention. Finally, based on that information, evaluate the scalability of your database solution.

If you do not have a system in place for this, or need assistance determining your next steps for compliance, we can help. With almost 30 years' of telecom experience, Equinox is uniquely able to handle challenges just like this recent FCC order. In fact, we've already worked with a customer to create a TeleLink report to satisfy the FCC’s Rural Completion Reporting requirement (FCC 13-135). And storing records and generating quarterly reports is no problem for TeleLink's CDR Warehouse. For help devising a strategy for compliance, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615)-612-1200 to discuss your requirements.

To learn more about the Rural Call Completion order, visit https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-releases-order-combating-rural-call-completion-problems, which lets you download the complete FCC document.


Equinox Information Systems offers a full range of business assurance solutions for the telecommunications industry and has served 350 customers worldwide since its founding in 1986. In that time, their solution’s market-proven results have earned them a reputation as the industry’s most reliable and affordable business assurance provider. Equinox offers solutions in areas critical to profitability and network efficiency, including revenue assurance, fraud management, expense management, mediation, network analysis, and custom application development. Equinox’s customers include 6 of the top 10 ILECS, 5 of the top 10 cable companies, and most of the tier 2 U.S. carriers. For more information about the company, its products, and staff, visit www.equinoxis.com.

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