Wireless cramming draws ire of Vermont AG

When it comes to phone cramming, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell is not amused. In fact, he’s encouraging any resident who notices the fraudulent charges on their bills to report the act to his office. Phone cramming is an all-too-common practice where companies slip charges onto consumer’s bills for services they never ordered. It is done through the phone provider, which will most often plead its ignorance about the charges. The scammers hope that the consumers don’t spot the extra fees – usually are $10 or less – and continue paying them month after month. Recently, 12,000 Vermont residents were

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FCC delving further into rural call completion problems

Telecom associations are applauding the Federal Communications Commission for finally taking steps to tackle the call failure issue in rural areas. Earlier this month, the FCC filed a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on regulations needed to address the problem of dropped or poor quality long-distance calls, a move that the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NCTA) has been demanding for some time. Critics say least-call routing is to blame for the failures. Completing calls in rural areas tends to be pricier, to help cover the increased cost of service. Some long-distance carriers contract third-party companies, which attempt to use

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ISPs living up to advertised speeds

The Federal Communications Commission’s recently released report on consumer wireline broadband performance has found the majority of Internet service providers (ISPs) are delivering speeds as advertised during peak consumer usage hours. The February report — part of the FCC’s Measuring Broadband America initiative, with data collected last September — found that 97 per cent of ISPs were coming through with promised speeds during the busiest hours of 7-11 p.m. on weekdays. Most providers remained steady, with results on par with the previous FCC study. One standout was Frontier, which improved performance by a significant 13 per cent. The FCC was

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FCC emergency communications hearings start today

The Federal Communications Commission is holding two field hearings today to analyze the challenges faced by U.S. communications networks during natural disasters or other crisis, such as Superstorm Sandy. “The first hearing will facilitate a wider national dialogue about the resiliency of communications networks by focusing on the impact of Superstorm Sandy, and help inform recommendations and actions to strengthen wired and wireless networks in the face of such large-scale emergencies,” states a FCC press release. The morning hearing was scheduled to take place in Manhattan from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The afternoon session will run 2:30 p.m. to

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FCC orders emergency power back-ups

The Federal Communications Commission is demanding back-up power requirements for telephone companies after 911 disruptions endangered millions of citizens last summer. The recent report –  from an examination of emergency response issues during the June 2012 derecho storm, one of the most destructive in U.S. history – also calls for carriers to monitor networks more closely, and abide to federal outage reporting requirements. Nearly 80 emergency call centres in six states lost phone connections during the storm that cut a swath of destruction from the east coast through the Midwestern United States. Service providers included Verizon and Frontier. FCC investigators

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Maximize Your Company’s Telecom Usage

Your company’s telecom and networking charges can consume a large part of your budget – as much as one third. That’s a pretty large chunk. Then add in what you are paying for an employee benefits program and you now have a budget that makes you wonder where all the money went.

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