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Least Cost Routing and the Rural Customer


TMCnews Featured Article

August 30, 2012

Least Cost Routing and the Rural Customer

By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Managing Editor

In life, we are usually faced with balancing equally important concepts – job and family, work and play, etc. In business, we often seem to face the tension between quality and cost. We want to have the best quality product or service, but we also want to have the lowest-cost option. This, too, is the tension when it comes to least cost routing. LCR is designed to provide calls at the lowest possible price point, but in some cases, the routing can wreak havoc with the quality of the call or even its completion.

Most of the time, issues come up in rural areas. Sometimes, long distance carriers use least cost routing to send calls intended for rural customers end up improperly routed, resulting in occasional poor quality or even dropped calls. This, of course, becomes problematic for rural customers who may be missing calls altogether!

Fortunately for rural customers, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association is on top of this matter. It ran tests on rural call quality and found that in these areas calls were 13 times more likely to have issues. The group reported the results to the Federal Communications Commission, which can impose significant fines on companies that fail to correct these problems.

“The results of this project clearly show that much more needs to be done to resolve rural call completion issues,” said NTCA (News - Alert) chief executive officer Shirley Bloomfield. “Consumers in rural communities need to know that their local phone companies are not to blame and that rural carriers are leading efforts to find a permanent solution to this epidemic. We recognize that rural Americans deserve reliable telephone service for their personal safety and financial well-being just as much as urban consumers deserve it, and we’ll continue to speak out on their behalf until this problem is solved.”

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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