FCC Announces $31 Million Settlement with TeleQuality for Competitive Bidding and Rate Violations


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has announced a $31 million settlement, comprised of repayments and forfeitures, with TeleQuality Communications (TeleQuality) for violating competitive bidding and rate rules and overbilling the FCC’s Rural Health Care (RHC) program, which helps eligible health care providers attain affordable access to telecommunications services. In the FCC’s Consent Decree, TeleQuality admitted to the following violations over a four-year period, 2015-2018: (1) fabricating sales quotes as urban rates; (2) providing improper incentives to health care providers to encourage the awarding of contracts to TeleQuality; (3) invoicing and receiving payment for services it did not provide to health care providers; (4) assisting health care providers in creating bid evaluation criteria during competitive bidding; and (5) failing to determine its rural rates. TeleQuality also admitted that throughout 2010-2019 it had improperly reported its revenues in an attempt to avoid contributing to the Universal Service Fund.  The settlement requires TeleQuality to pay the settlement amount as well as follow a compliance plan requiring it to establish new operating procedures to ensure compliance with FCC rules, file regular reports on its compliance for the next five years, and promptly report any new violations. 

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