T-Mobile Pays $40 Million to Settle Investigation of Rural Call Completion Violations

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The FCC has entered into a consent decree with T-Mobile USA, Inc., to resolve an investigation into whether T-Mobile violated the Communications Act and the rural call completion rules by failing to correct problems with the delivery of calls to rural consumers and by conveying false ring tones to hundreds of millions of callers. T-Mobile agreed to pay $40 million to the U.S. Treasury and implement a compliance plan to prevent future violations.The FCC began investigating T-Mobile after receiving complaints from rural carriers and consumers in the summer of 2016 alleging that T-Mobile callers could not reach consumers served by three rural carriers in Wisconsin. Although T-Mobile reported that problems had been resolved, the FCC continued to receive complaints that calls were failing. T-Mobile also admitted that it transmitted false ring tones into calls in violation of the FCC’s rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated, “It is a basic tenet of the nation’s phone system that calls be completed to the called party, without a reduction in the call quality—even when the calls pass through intermediate providers. “

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