Verizon Wireless has been fined $2 million and committed to pay $3 million to a compliance program. The company has to part with the $5 million in total after it was found guilty by the FCC of failure to investigate problems surrounding wireless and long distance calls in rural areas.
This ruling comes after a thorough investigation by the FCC concerning this matter that affected numerous rural areas. The problem concerned the fact that wireless or long distance calls were not getting through to landline phones in the affected rural areas.
This fine by Verizon is the fourth settlement of this kind to be passed by the FCC since the new compliance program rules started operating in 2013. The $2 million will go to the Treasury Department. The $3 million will go into rural call competition.
In addition to the hefty fine and the contribution to the rural call competition the company will also be expected to enact a few reforms. One of them requires Verizon to create a czar for the rural call competition. In addition, they will be expected to file reports with the FCC concerning the competition. The company has also been asked to limit the use of third party phone service providers when routing calls.
The FCC rules for the compliance program were enacted to deal with problems surrounding long distance and wireless calls failing to get through to people in rural areas. According to the FCC, a big part of the problem is wireless carriers such as Verizon. The reason for this is that these carriers choose to use third party phone service providers to route these calls. They do this because it helps them reduce costs but eventually they end up compromising on quality leading to complaints from their rural customers.