Subcommittee approves Young’s bill to improve rural call quality, reliability

A key House subcommittee advanced legislation on Tuesday that U.S. Rep. David Young (R-IA) introduced to improve rural call quality and reliability in rural areas.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology advanced Young’s Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, H.R. 2566, with the bill now appearing before the full committee for consideration.

“Many folks across rural America face the disadvantages of phone service that is of poor quality, or doesn’t even connect,” Young said. “My bipartisan legislation seeks to fix this problem, and help Iowans and all Americans living in rural areas connect with phone service that is reliable and consistent. I look forward to continuing my work on this important issue, and continue to encourage my colleagues to join me in advancing this bill.”

Under the bill, telecommunications providers would be required to register with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and meet minimum quality standards to improve call quality and reliability in rural areas.

“Today we took a significant step forward in the fight to ensure that rural customers get the same high-quality voice services that others take for granted,” U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said. “I was pleased to hear the strong bipartisan support for this measure, and I’m optimistic that this can make a big difference in the way rural consumers receive their telephone calls.”

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that rural consumers in southwest Michigan and around the country expect dependable service but have been “plagued” by failed calls and poor quality.

“I have heard directly from providers in my district as well as local small businesses that this is an issue of great importance and demands action,” Upton said. “Additionally, as our methods of communications evolve and innovate to the benefit of consumers, bad actors have also evolved to consumers’ detriment. I’m thankful my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined in supporting and advancing these bipartisan, consumer-minded bills to the full committee.”

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