Level 3 Communications Inc. will pay almost $1 million in fees and let the FCC review its service quality in rural areas.
That’s because the FCC says call rates are failing in rural areas due to long-distance operators and intermediate providers trying to cut down on the amount paid to local phone companies by using least-cost routing.
The Colorado-based carrier will make what the FCC called a voluntary payment of $975,000 to the U.S. Treasury and has agreed to pay $1 million each quarter if it does not hit new performance benchmarks.
“Basic long-distance phone calls are failing in many areas of rural America at alarming rates,” Michele Ellison, FCC enforcement chief, said in a prepared statement. “This is unacceptable.”
In addition to financial concessions, Level 3says it will do the following:
In a statement, Level 3 said it has pushed for “clear and measurable standards applicable to all providers, and this agreement is a solid step in that direction.”