Call Termination Issues

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Madison Communications, Inc. BBB Business Review
Telephone Services

Calls Not Getting Through?

You may be experiencing any of the following:

Someone tells you they tried to call you but the call didn't get through or the call rang on their end but your phone did not ring. A call came through but the quality was poor. A call came through but the caller ID was incorrect. Madison Telephone Company strives to provide excellent service at all times. However, people who live in rural areas all around the country are reporting that calls to them are not getting through, or they are receiving calls with poor quality. Please be assured, this issue is not within our network. The problem starts with the long distance carrier used by the customer who placed the call. The problem can only be resolved by the carrier used by the customer who makes the call.

This nationwide epidemic is negatively affecting local businesses, public safety, and our relationship with our customers. Rural carriers have complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state agencies. The FCC has created a task force to investigate and address the issue and rural telecom advocates are encouraging swift and severe action against all of the providers at the center of the problem. Visit the following FCC webpage regarding Rural Call Completion for more information:


We are hopeful that the large nationwide providers involved in these issues or the FCC will act to address these problems.  In the meantime, here's what you can do: 

Ask for the name of the long-distance carrier used by the person trying to reach you. Call Madison and give them details. Include the name of the carrier used by the caller so that we can contact the carrier on your behalf to try and resolve the issue.

Go to www.fcc.gov/complaints to file an informal wired telephone service complaint with the FCC against the carrier used by the person trying to call you (not Madison), and encourage the caller to do the same. 

Dropped calls are being experienced by rural communities in at least 35 states. According to industry analysts, there could be a number of possible reasons why customers in rural areas are experiencing problems with incoming long distance calls.

One potential cause is the use of least-cost routers (LCR) by the carriers originating these calls in an effort to reduce their expenses associated with using the rural telecommunications provider’s network.

While utilizing a LCR may help the originating carriers bottom-line, this method of routing oftentimes prevents calls from connecting in rural areas.

Another cause may be voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services like Vonage, Skype and Magic Jack who, in some cases, actually advertise that they do not terminate calls in all areas.

Madison, and other companies that serve rural America, are working with state and federal officials, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to develop a solution that halts this practice of discriminating against rural customers. On September 26, 2011, the FCC announced that it is forming a task force to look into and correct the issue.

A workshop addressing this issue, held October 18, is view-able online at:

There are many rural telephone subscribers nationwide who have have been experiencing call termination issues. These issues include, but are not limited to: 

  • The calling party hears ringing but the called party hears nothing
  • The calling party hears ringing but only hears dead air when the called party answers information on the scope of these issues and concluded this is an epidemic affecting the routing of calls to customers in rural areas nationwide
  • Unusually long call set-up times, sometimes as long as 50 seconds
  • One way or otherwise poor quality, garbled voice on completed calls
  • Inability to receive faxes
  • Missing or altered Caller ID

Scope and industry response 

  • Several national telephone associations have gathered information on the scope of these issues and concluded this is an epidemic affecting the routing of calls to customers in rural areas nationwide.
  • The problem occurs on calls originated using a variety of telephone technologies including land-line, wireless, cable, and VoIP.
  • Madison has no control over these issues – the problems occur before the call ever reaches our network, if the call reaches our network at all.
  •  The national telephone associations are collecting data to provide to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for further investigation into this problem.