Your telephone rings, you pick up the receiver and nobody’s there. Or when you answer the phone, the voice quality is extremely poor. If this has happened to you in the past few months, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a nationwide problem and it appears to be caused by a practice called “Least Cost Routing.”
In order to avoid paying Telephone Companies like Butler-Bremer to use the network that we built and maintain to complete their calls, long distance companies are manipulating the routes that their long distance telephone calls travel. In many cases, to avoid paying these “access charges,” calls are being routed to use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which are currently exempt from access charges. However, this can also negatively affect the quality of the call. This problem has become so common that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established a task force to study this issue and will likely be addressing it in the near future.
Like you, we are extremely frustrated about these types of call manipulation and wish we had a simple solution. What we are doing is working with our national and state telephone associations to provide input to the FCC and work towards a resolution to re-establishes the call quality we’ve all come to expect. We will keep you updated on the FCC’s actions to correct this problem in the future.