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Rural telephone companies not to blame for dropped calls

Arvig is working with federal regulators to address the issue of long-distance telephone calls not completing to customers in the communities it serves. These "dropped calls" are happening all over the nation, and rural telephone companies like Arvig are not at fault.

When a call is placed to a rural telephone number, somewhere before the call reaches the local network, it is dropped by a long distance carrier.

"Basically, the carriers don't like the rates to connect to rural areas, and they do whatever they can to keep their costs down," explains Andy Klinnert, director of network operations at Arvig.

In 2012, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and 35 other senators wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting immediate resolution of dropped calls and poor service affecting their rural constituents, noting the serious economic consequences.

The FCC listened and recently announced that it will fine long-distance providers who participate in least-cost routing (LCR), which includes passing a call destined for rural consumers to intermediate providers to reduce cost.

In March, the FCC set its first example by settling on a voluntary fine of almost $1 million from a national long-distance carrier as part of an investigation into the carrier's efforts to route and complete calls to rural communities.

However, finding the guilty parties is difficult, seeing as a number of long-distance carriers are included in the mix of exchanges that occur during a phone call.

That is why Arvig is asking customers to report any call completion issues, such as failed calls, delayed calls, poor quality and incorrect caller ID.

Arvig has developed an online form for easy customer reporting. Visit for more details.