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Important Information - Updates, Alerts and Bulletins 

Click on any of the topic headlines below for all current and past information.


Call Completion Updates

All the news that pertains to long distance call completion issues.

Phishing Scams 

All the news that pertains email phishing scams that may effect our customers. 

Channel Changes 

Major changes occurring to our channel lineups. 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To All Valley TeleCom Customers; 

The Federal Communication Commission issues the following press release on January 26, 2015 regarding a settlement with Verizon over rural call completion issues.


FCC Press Release 

January 26, 2015                                                                    


Washington, D.C. - Verizon has agreed to a $5 million settlement to resolve a Federal Communications Commission inquiry into the company's failure to investigate whether rural customers could receive long distance or wireless calls to landline phones. The inquiry, led by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, centered on whether, over a period of many months in 2013, Verizon failed to investigate evidence of low call answer rates to 26 different rural areas across the country.  Verizon will pay a fine of $2 million and will implement a compliance plan in which it commits to spend an additional $3 million over the next three years to improve call completion to rural areas across the country. 

"All Americans, no matter where they are located, have a right to make and receive phone calls," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau.  "Phone companies are on notice that the FCC will hold them accountable for failures to investigate and ensure that calls go through to the rural heartland of the country."

In its consent decree with the Enforcement Bureau, Verizon has agreed to:

  • Pay a fine of $2 million to the U.S. Treasury;

  • Commit an additional $3 million over the next three years to address the problem of rural call completion on a company and industry-wide basis;

  • Appoint a Rural Call Completion Ombudsman within Verizon to centralize analysis of rural call completion problems;

  • Develop a system to automatically identify customer complaints that may be related to rural call completion issues;

  • Limit its use of intermediate providers, i.e., telecommunications providers between the Verizon network and the local rural provider, that are often the source of call completion problems;

  • Monitor its call answer rates to individual rural areas and conduct an investigation when rates to an area fall below a set threshold in any month;

  • Host industry workshops and sponsor an academic study on methods to detect and resolve rural call completion problems;

  • Provide quarterly summaries of its investigations to the FCC and meet periodically with Commission staff to identify lessons learned; and

  • Prepare a report to be publicly filed with the Commission at the end of the three-year compliance period.

Although the Bureau had significant concerns with Verizon's failure to investigate, it is encouraged by Verizon's commitment of significant resources over the next three years toward addressing rural call completion and encourages participation by other industry players and the academic community in the workshops and other broader efforts that are required under the consent decree.   

This is the fourth major resolution of a rural call completion investigation and is part of a coordinated effort to address rural call completion problems.  The Bureau entered into consent decrees related to rural call completion performance with Matrix Telecom, Inc. and Windstream Corporation in 2014 and with Level 3 Communications, LLC in 2013.  Rules requiring long distance providers to record, retain, and report to the Commission call answer and completion data are expected to take effect this year.

For more information about the FCC's efforts with respect to rural call completion:     

The Order and Consent Decree are available at:

The FCC's prior Orders and Consent Decrees regarding rural call completion are available at:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                            NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:


Monday, September 22, 2014

To All Valley TeleCom Customers; 

It has been brought to our attention that there is another email phishing scam going on that involves the email address as follows:


From: The Vtc Mail Support [
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2014 6:11 PM
To: your name
Subject: Vtc Mail Alert
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2014 6:11 PM
To: your name
Subject: Vtc Mail Alert
Attn: your name,
Due to congestion in our mail server, all unverified accounts would be shut down within the next 72hours. To confirm this account(s) is active, please complete your email verification details below.
                                COMPLETE YOUR EMAIL VERIFICATION BELOW 
*Full name:
*Email address: your name
*Reconfirm Password:
Thank you for using Vtc!
                                                                                    Copyright  2014 Vtc

Please be aware that Valley TeleCom NEVER asks for this type of information through email or over the web. If you have received such an email, please redirect it to your email spam folder. For additional questions or concerns, please contact customer support Monday through Friday from 8AM to 6PM  at 877  882 - 6386.


Monday, April 21, 2014

To All Valley TeleCom TV Customers; 

We are writing to inform you of some upcoming changes to the channel lineup on your television service. In order to provide television service, Valley TeleCom Group purchases programming from the various networks under contracts that dictate how we include those channels in our programming packages. Unfortunately, these contracts require us to buy groups of channels as a bundle and will not allow us to select certain channels from the group to carry. The contracts will also not allow us to sell the channels to only the customers who want them. Valley's goal is to provide quality content while managing the high costs of providing such channels and, in turn, keeping your monthly rates for television service as reasonable as possible.

In an attempt to get the lowest rates possible, Valley TeleCom Group partners with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), a nationwide group of over 900 independent TV companies, like us. The goal is to negotiate as a large group to get the best rates we can for our customers, instead of trying to negotiate as just one small company.

Recently, NCTC was in contract talks with Viacom, a media conglomerate that provides 14 of the many television channels we currently offer on our TV service. The Viacom channels we currently carry are:

Channel 68 Spike TV
Channel 93 Comedy Central
Channel 150 MTV
Channel 151 MTV 2
Channel 152 MTV Hits
Channel 155 VH1
Channel 156 VH1 Classics
Channel 158 CMT
Channel 180 Nickelodeon
Channel 185 TV Land
Channel 189 Nicktoons
Channel 190 Teen Nick
Channel 191 Nick Jr
Channel 653 Palladia

In the end, NCTC negotiated a new five-year contract that is much lower than Viacom?s initial renewal offer, so, in that regard, NCTC succeeded. However, after much deliberation and discussion, we have made the difficult decision not to accept the new increased rates. We feel the large initial increase, and subsequent annual increases for the next five years would mandate an unreasonable rate increase on our customers. As programming costs continue to rise, we know that we will be forced to increase our rates in the future, but we would like to postpone that increase for as long as possible.

Considering all of these factors, Valley TeleCom Group will be airing the Viacom channels on our TV service until April 30, 2014. At that point, the channels listed above will be removed from our channel lineup.

This was a very difficult decision and we realize some of our customers will be unhappy with no longer having these channels. Our ultimate conclusion was more customers would have been unhappy with the rate increase we would have been forced to pass onto our customers to keep the channels, and that this is the best choice moving forward in our struggle to help slow the seemingly endless escalation in the cost that you must pay for your TV service. If you should have any questions, please call us at 800-421-5711, or to learn more about the process, go to


Monday, March 31, 2014

Valley TV Customers:

We are continuing to actively negotiate with Viacom and remain hopeful to reach an agreement before midnight Eastern Standard Time today. Go to for the latest updates.


Friday, March 1, 2014

To All Valley TeleCom TV Customers:

 Valley TeleCom Group is in contract discussions with Viacom, the parent company of the following channels carried on our TV service:

  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • MTV, MTV2, MTVHits
  • Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons
  • Palladia
  • Spike
  • TV Land
  • VH1, VH1 Classic

Our existing agreement expires on March 31, 2014. Although we are working to negotiate a fair price for these networks after March 31, Viacom may turn off their networks or require us to remove all of their channels until a new agreement is secured.

We will update the progress on the contract talks here on our web site and on our Community Channel One as we move forward. Please contact us with questions or, for more information, please visit


Friday November 1, 2013

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

The following article written by Joan Engebretson appeared on Tuesday, October 28, 2013 in Telecompetitor, a daily electronic trade publication from Pivot Media LLC. It helps explain the latest progress by the FCC on the call completion issue. You can also read the entire article online by clicking here.

The FCC today adopted an order aimed at minimizing long-distance call completion problems in rural areas. The order includes new reporting requirements for long-distance carriers and a rule preventing long-distance carriers from sending a ring tone to a caller before the call has been delivered to the called party.

The order takes several actions,including:

  • Long-distance carriers that made the initial choice about how to route the call and that have more than 100,000 subscribers will be required to retain data about call completion rates for six months and file quarterly reports about this to the FCC. According to the FCC, carriers serving 95% of U.S. phone lines would be required to report. Calls to areas served by rural carriers will be compared with calls to metro areas to gauge where problems may exist.
  • Carriers that will have to report include wireless carriers and VoIP providers as well as traditional long-distance carriers.
  • Data to be collected includes call attempts, calls answered, calls that received a busy signal, calls that generated an unassigned number signal, and calls where the caller heard a ringing sound but there was no answer.
  • Long-distance carriers that demonstrate they have adopted certain "best practices" can request a waiver that reduces their reporting requirements. An example of a best practice is to use no more than two intermediate carriers between themselves and the local carrier serving the called party.
  • The order also prohibits long-distance carriers from sending a ring tone to a caller before the call has  been delivered to the called party. When this occurs, the caller may think no one answered the call when someone actually was home to answer it. And if the caller learns that the called party was home at the time and did not hear a ring, both parties may assume the problem is with the local carrier when it is not.

Several studies have shown that calls to rural areas often do not reach the called party because the call is dropped, a ringtone is sent prematurely, or for other reasons. The reasons this situation has arisen were not discussed at today?s meeting but evidence suggests that some long-distance carriers ? or intermediate carriers that terminate calls for
the long-distance companies ? deliberately try to
prevent calls from going through in order to avoid paying per-minute termination charges to the rural carrier serving the called party. Those charges tend to be higher in rural areas to help cover the cost of delivering
service in those areas, which generally are more costly to serve than metro markets.

At Valley TeleCom, we appreciate your continued business and your patience with this issue.

As always, you can report problems to Valley TeleCom Group by calling 1-800-400-1273, or by sending an email to and we will assist you in any way we can.


Tuesday March 12, 2013

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

The FCC announced  that it has reached a settlement in an investigation of Level 3 Communications regarding their failure to complete calls in rural areas of the country.
Level 3 is a nationwide carrier that handles traffic for many telecommunications carriers, but specializes in providing service to cable companies, wireless carriers, and other competitive local exchange carriers.

Under the terms of the settlement, Level 3 has agreed to make a voluntary contribution of $975,000 to the United States Treasury.  Level 3 has also agreed to complete calls to
rural areas served by incumbent local exchange carriers (e.g. Valley) at a rate within 5% of that in non-rural areas over a two-year period.  Level 3 must report compliance on the call completion issue quarterly beginning January 1, 2014.  Level 3 will be required to make an additional $1 million contribution to the United States Treasury in any quarter that the call completion benchmark has not been met.

The settlement also requires Level 3 to develop scorecards that monitor the performance of some of their intermediate providers, identify problematic routes to these providers monthly, and cease using poorly performing providers.

Valley is glad to see the FCC is finally taking meaningful action in resolving this two-year old problem. We realize that $975,000 to the United States Treasury does not directly help Valley, or our customers that have suffered through this issue, but it is definitely a step in the right direction to a resolution of the call-completion issue.

A full copy of the FCC Press Release can be found at:

We appreciate your continued business and your patience with this issue.

As always, you can report problems to Valley TeleCom Group by calling 1-800-400-1273, or by sending an email to and we will assist you in any way we can.


Thursday February 21, 2013

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

On February 7, 2013 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in regards to the call completion issue many rural telephone companies, such as ours, have been experiencing.

In this latest document, the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau acknowledges that there is still a big problem with an unacceptable amount of calls not getting completed by long distance carriers. The Commission also understands this is an issue that is affecting customers nationwide.

As a result, the FCC is proposing rules that would help them gather information on the issue by requiring facilities-based long distance providers to collect data on call answer rates. The notice also goes on to say these providers would be required to keep six full months of records based on the most recent calendar months, and forward these records over to the Commission.

In addition, the Commission also recognizes the large amount of complaints they have received directly from customers who have been affected by this issue. They encourage people to file complaints directly to them by filling out the online complaint form at

We see this latest Notice as a positive step in solving this important problem, although the issue is far from over. We will continue to share updates we receive until this matter is resolved.

As always, you can report problems to Valley TeleCom Group by calling 1-800-400-1273, or by sending an email to and we will assist you in any way we can.


Friday March 9, 2012

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:                                                     

If you have continued to follow the progress, or lack thereof as many of us see it, of the FCC regarding the call completion problem, you may have read the recent Declaratory Ruling issued by the Wireline Competition Bureau.  This ruling attempts to clarify the FCC's stated prohibition on actions taken by companies which may restrict telephone traffic in any way.

In the ruling, the FCC notes the increase in complaints from rural telecommunication companies, including Valley TeleCom Group, as well as those complaints coming directly from people like you who are affected on a daily basis.  The ruling specifically acknowledges the dire consequences for small businesses which are losing customers, schools that may not be able to reach parents with critical alerts, and urgent public safety calls.

It appears that an intention of the Declaratory Ruling was to remind long distance carriers, whether they carry traffic on the Public Switched Telecommunication Network or Voice over IP, that it is illegal to block, choke or reduce long distance traffic and that this prohibition also includes any practices that lead to call termination or call quality problems as well.  These practices would violate the Communications Act of 1934 because it is seen as unreasonable discrimination of those of us who reside in rural areas of the United States.  We were glad to also see that the ruling goes further and states that a long distance carrier is also responsible for the actions of any of their agents or persons acting for or employed by the carrier.

Through this Declaratory Ruling, we feel that the FCC has a firm understanding of the problem that Valley TeleCom and others have been relaying to the Commission.  It is clear that the Commission has identified possible routing practices as a culprit along with difficulty in tracking an originating call to its destination when several VoIP carriers are part of the transport of that call.  We are encouraged by the initial steps taken in this ruling so that our customers can see that action is taking place however slow it may be.  The ruling concludes by reminding carriers that the Commission is authorized to assess a hefty fine for each violation of the order.

To read the full Declaratory Ruling, please copy and paste this link in your browser:

We would like to see the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau launch a more thorough investigation into this issue so that it can clearly identify those companies using these discriminatory practices.  Until that time, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide as much information as we can to these regulatory agencies in an effort to get this problem resolved for you.

We will post further notifications and updates on the website as more information is available. Please click on the "Online Support" icon at the bottom right of the page OR click on the IMPORTANT UPDATE link at the top of our home page. As always, please continue to report known problems to Valley TeleCom Group at 800-400-1273 or by sending an email to and we will assist you in any way we can.


Thursday December 22, 2011

Dear Valley TeleCom Group Customer,

As most of you are probably still aware, many people are still experiencing intermittent problems receiving long distance phone calls from across the country.  As we have stated many times before, this is a nationwide problem affecting those of us living in rural America.  Valley TeleCom Group has been actively taking part in every way possible to bring attention to this issue on both the state and federal levels. 

We have also tried to communicate with our customers on a regular basis when any new information comes out regarding this issue. Below is a letter from the office of Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota to the FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski.  In this letter, Senator Johnson reiterates the issues which have been raised in the past and addresses the recent meeting by the recently created Rural Call Completion Task Force and asks for an update from the FCC on what actions will be taken to remedy this problem.

We applaud the Senator for taking this action not only on behalf of his own South Dakota constituents, but constituents representing all of rural America.  The senator's staff asks that you call or email your state's senators with the letter below and encourage them to show their support by signing on to Senator Johnson's letter.

You can find your state senator's contact information by going to   We hope this type of grassroots effort will work and encourage more action by the FCC to help find a resolution for this problem.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at  Yours is the strongest voice to the FCC and is the best way to encourage more action.


Valley TeleCom Group



January XX, 2012

The Honorable Julius Genachowski


Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Chairman Genachowski,

As reliance on high-speed Internet and mobile communication continues to grow, it is important to recognize that many Americans still rely on their traditional landline phone to engage in commerce, communicate with friends and family, and call for emergency assistance.  Nearly three-fourths of American households have landline phones, and 62 percent of Americans say the service is a necessity.  Unfortunately, this service has become less reliable in certain rural areas due to a call routing and termination problem that is preventing the delivery of a growing number of calls to customers of rural local exchange carriers.  

As you know, representatives for rural carriers have reported a staggering 2,000 percent increase in complaints between April 2010 and March 2011 from consumers who have experienced calls that fail to complete, are delayed, have poor voice quality, or lack correct caller ID information.  This problem, commonly referred to as "call termination", "dropped calls", or "call completion", is widespread and has been reported by local exchange companies in 36 states. 

The failure to complete calls is having a negative effect on local businesses and people throughout rural America, and also presents a serious safety concern for affected consumers.  Small business owners who are affected by this problem are rightfully frustrated and demand a solution, noting that in this challenging economic climate, businesses rely on reliable telephone service and cannot afford to lose a business opportunity because of a dropped call.  Additionally, incomplete calls raise a significant public safety concern that could yield devastating outcomes if this problem is not effectively and promptly addressed. 

Despite efforts by rural local exchange companies, state regulatory commissions, and telecommunications trade associations to identify the cause of this problem, there remain many unanswered questions.  We appreciate the Commission's creation of the Rural Call Completion Task Force and the workshop that was conducted with key stakeholders on October 18, 2011 to examine the extent of and reasons for the call termination problem.  We remain concerned, however, that this problem will continue to persist and negatively affect rural consumers unless action is taken by your agency.    

We respectfully request that you update us about the Commission's efforts to identify the cause of this problem.  Should your investigation reveal that parties involved in routing calls are engaging in activities that violate the Communications Act or a Commission rule or policy, we believe it is critical that the Commission takes the necessary actions to protect consumers and ensure that the widespread and frequent occurrence of undelivered calls to rural areas is addressed.  We appreciate your attention to our concerns regarding this problem and look forward to your response. 



Thursday October 20, 2011

The following was posted in the "Telecompetitor" newsletter dated October 20, 2011

Stakeholders Debate Rural Call Completion Problems, Solutions at FCC

The telecom industry is having great difficulty getting to the bottom of the rural call completion problem-and addressing it will be equally complex. That was the upshot of the rural call completion workshop held by the FCC this week. Telecompetitor has been closely following the rural call completion problem since it first hit the public eye earlier this year. As we have reported ...Read more


Wednesday September 28, 2011

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:                                                      9/28/11

Since our last communication near the beginning of August, we have begun to see some positive progress on the state and national levels regarding the continued long distance termination issue.

Valley TeleCom Group was successful in gaining the support of members from the NM State Legislature in late July.  On behalf of Valley and other rural cooperatives, the legislative committee signed and sent a letter to the FCC urging them to expedite their investigation into these call completion problems which are occurring in rural areas nationwide.

On another positive note, these actions by Valley TeleCom and other companies have finally been noticed by the FCC.  On a national scale, companies like Valley have sent specific call detail records showing the loss of incoming terminating calls as well as data that suggests a 2000% increase in customer complaints in little less than one year's time.  Due to this data and other grass roots efforts, the FCC has at last announced that it is launching a Rural Call Completion Task Force to address call routing and termination problems in rural America.  This task force is scheduled tentatively for October 18th and will focus on identifying the specific causes and discussing potential solutions.  Issues for the Task Force and Workshop include:  

  • The extent of the call termination problem in rural areas
  • The causes of the problem, including whether carriers are violating the law by blocking or restricting calls to other carriers
  • Actions that can be taken by the Commission to address the problem

The Rural Call Completion Task Force includes staff from the agency's Wireline Competition, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Enforcement Bureaus.  You can report your problems directly to the FCC at

While we do not expect any immediate remedy, this is at least positive momentum and progress which is why we wanted to share it with our customers.  More information about this task force can be found in the FCC press release below. 

As stated previously, we want you to know that the issue does not reside in Valley TeleCom's network but we are taking every opportunity to work on the state and national levels to expedite a solution for our customers. 



FCC Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                             NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

September 26, 2011                                                                    


FCC Launches Rural Call Completion Task Force


Task Force To Hold Workshop October 18; Intercarrier Compensation Reform Is Long-Term Solution

Washington, D.C. - Today the Federal Communications Commission announced the creation of the Rural Call Completion Task Force to investigate and address the growing problem of calls to rural customers that are being delayed or that fail to connect.  

Rural telephone companies have reported a 2000% increase in complaints between April 2010 and March 2011 regarding incoming calls that are delayed, never completed, of poor quality, or lack accurate caller ID information.  Failed or degraded calls not only undermine the integrity of the nation's telephone networks and frustrate consumers, but they also pose a serious risk to public safety and harm the rural economy.  

The problem appears to be occurring in rural areas where long-distance carriers pay charges to complete calls to the local telephone company, calls which may be delivered using specialized call routing providers.  The FCC is working to comprehensively reform the system that sets these rates - the intercarrier compensation system - to reduce opportunities and incentives for arbitrage and other manipulation schemes.  Reform proposals would also tighten rules that require carriers to provide accurate information about call origin for billing and other purposes.

The Task Force will hold a workshop - tentatively scheduled for October 18 - to identify specific causes of the problem and discuss potential solutions with key stakeholders.  Details about the workshop are forthcoming.  Issues for the Task Force and Workshop include:  

  • The extent of the call termination problem in rural areas
  • The causes of the problem, including whether carriers are violating the law by blocking or restricting calls to other carriers
  • Actions that can be taken by the Commission to address the problem

The Rural Call Completion Task Force includes staff from the agency's Wireline Competition, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Enforcement Bureaus.



News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found

on the Commission's web site

You have received this release from the FCC Office of Media Relations.
To view all of the latest FCC headlines go to the .

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Wednesday July 27, 2011

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

Below is a Press Release which should be included in local papers soon but we felt it was appropriate to send it to all of our customers electronically as well.  Valley continues to work hard on your behalf to make sure that every call placed to you... actually reaches you.  Valley has participated in several statewide and nationwide surveys which are collecting data about the call termination issue in rural areas of the country.

This information has been sent to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau on behalf of the nation's Rural Local Exchange Companies.  To augment this, representatives from Valley TeleCom Group recently testified before a NM State Legislative Committee to provide clarification on this problem and how we are trying to assist in identifying where the problem lies.  During this meeting, it was asked that the committee join us in urging the FCC to open a docket on this problem and to jointly sign a letter of support.  We were successful in gaining the committee's support and are now preparing that letter to the FCC on behalf of all rural NM telephone companies known as the New Mexico Exchange Carrier Group with signatures from the committee members.

We will post further notifications and updates on the website as more information is available.  Please click on the "Online Support" icon at the bottom right of the page OR click on the IMPORTANT UPDATE link at the top of our home page.  As always, please continue to report known problems to Valley TeleCom Group at 800-400-1273 or by sending an email to and we will assist you in any way we can.


Press Release -

Valley TeleCom Group:  Taking the Long Distance Call Termination Issue to the NM State Capital

Santa Fe, NM, July 21, 2011:  Jeremy Graves, Chief Operating Officer - Valley TeleCom Group, testified before the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee on July 21st in an effort to gain support of the NM state legislature regarding the call termination problem in rural parts of NM and AZ.  Valley TeleCom Group, along with other rural telecommunications providers in NM, has been working diligently to highlight problems with the current state of long distance service in rural NM and the problems these issues have caused for our customers.  "The livelihood of these rural residents is affected greatly by this loss of incoming communications.  These businesses in most cases are solely dependent on their ability to receive these calls.  Calls to these businesses, when not completed, give the impression that they are closed and revenue is likely being impacted.  Residential customers are also affected by not being able to receive calls from friends and family and in some instances this could be life threatening" said Graves. 

It was expressed to the committee that this entire issue could be related to "looping" within the process by which large long distance providers send the phone call to the dialed party and/or carriers refusing to terminate traffic into higher cost rural areas.  Graves further stated that if the latter is the case, this would be a direct violation of a 2007 FCC order that states "no carrier, including interexchange carriers, may block, choke, reduce or restrict traffic in any way." All committee members (made up of state senators and representatives) expressed their understanding of the issue and agreed to support us by sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging them to expedite their investigation of this issue and a resolve for the matter as quickly as possible. 

For more information on this issue, please contact Valley TeleCom Group at 520-384-8905 or visit them online at


Saturday May 14, 2011

To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

Issues with Incoming Calls & Faxes - Many Are Investigating  

For some time now, we have been experiencing problems as some long-distance phone calls originating outside of Valley Telephone Cooperative's network are not being completed or are experiencing a range of quality issues.

Representatives from rural telephone companies described this problem to FCC staff members in March as a "nationwide epidemic" and the dramatic effects this has on rural communities and especially the businesses in these communities.

This phenomenon is also occurring across the United States, most often affecting long distance calls being made to customers of rural telecommunications companies such as Valley Telephone Cooperative. One telephone representative meeting with the FCC pointed to an industry survey showing that 80% of rural telephone carriers surveyed reported call termination issues.

The problem occurs on calls originated using a variety of telephone technologies including landline, wireless, cable, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

Sometimes the calls never connect. Sometimes the phone on the receiving end rings but the caller's voice cannot be heard once the phone is answered. Sometimes the voice quality is so poor the call is not productive.

Valley Telephone Cooperative General Manager Steve Metts stated "We're not sure how many calls are affected by this because we only learn of problems if the caller from outside Valley Telephone Cooperative's service area eventually reports the issue to our customer who in turns notifies us."

It's our understanding that long distance carriers are now widely using "least-cost routing" switches in an attempt to avoid the costs associated with normal long distance calls. But at this time and without IP industry standards, they sacrifice call quality for many customers across the nation in their attempt to satisfy their corporate stockholders.

We do know that Valley Telephone Cooperative's network is functioning properly and is not the cause of the problem. The troubled calls, which move from one company's network to a second and often a third and fourth network, do not reach Valley Telephone Cooperative's network.

Because this issue has been occurring across the country for several months, some state regulatory agencies are conducting formal investigations. Both the Arizona Corporation Commission and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission have been notified regarding the circumstances of these types of troublesome calls. We are very interested in hearing about any trouble you might experience with calls not being completed.

Suggested Consumer Action - try and gather the following information

  • Date & time the call was placed & the phone number from which the call originated.
  • The long-distance or wireless provider from which the call originated.
  • Details about what, if anything, occurred on the receiving end of the call.
    • (i.e. dead air, ringing with no answer, etc.)

You can report these incidents to Valley Telephone Cooperative by calling 800-421-5711.


Friday December 12, 2010


To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

           Since our December 2nd meeting in Portal, your Valley TeleCom Staff has continued to work on relaying the message to long distance carriers about the continued intermittent incoming long distance calls occurring in some of our exchanges.  We are working on this issue in several ways in addition to how we have previously mentioned to you.

Not only have we contacted other similar regional telephone companies to validate that the problem goes beyond Valley Telephone, but we have contacted the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association and found out that the problem has been reported in various areas nationwide.  The National Telecommunications Cooperative is an organization that represents the interest of rural telecommunications companies and their customers on Capitol Hill.

We have also sent a letter to Senator Bingaman's office in NM outlining the issue.  We were clear in the letter that this problem is detrimental  both personally and commercially to those who reside in our rural areas.  The letter sent on December 7th to Senator Bingaman is attached as well.  In fact, we have received confirmation from the Senator's staff that he has written his own letter requesting the FCC Chairman look into the issues raised in our correspondence and respond back to both Senator Bingaman as well as to Valley Telephone Cooperative. We have every assurance that he and his staff will do what is in their power to assist us. 

We will post further notifications and updates on the website.  Please click on the "Online Support" icon at the bottom right of the page OR click on the IMPORTANT UPDATE link at the top of our home page. 


Tuesday November 30, 2010


To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

           Since our last email notification on November 19th, your Valley TeleCom staff has continued to help long distance carriers troubleshoot the problems some of our customers have been experiencing.  As stated in the previous email, these problems seem to be limited to intermittent incoming long distance calls and only in certain areas.  We have contacted other telephone companies and have verified that they are experiencing similar issues as well. 

Again, this confirms that the problem does not reside in Valley TeleCom's network.  Through our numerous trouble tickets with the various Long Distance Carriers, it appears to be a "Looping Issue" where a group of Long Distance Carriers may be routing the call in a loop and the call never gets completed to the desired destination.  If this assumption is correct, given the large number of long distance carriers, this problem is taking a longer time to diagnose and correct. 

If you receive a call and they state there have been problems completing a call to your phone number, we suggest you refer the caller to their Long Distance Provider to report the trouble.  This is the same advice we mentioned before and it is still the best way we know to make the long distance carriers aware of this problem.  Valley TeleCom cannot place a trouble ticket with a long distance carrier because we are not their customer.  This is why the caller must report the problem.

We have taken further action and reported these issues to the Arizona Corporation Commission as well as the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on your behalf.  Our next course of action is to notify the Federal Communications Commission.

We will post further notifications and updates on the website.  Please click on the "Online Support" icon at the bottom right of the page.  We know these issues are affecting not only personal communications but business communications as well.  We are working diligently on your behalf and will continue to do our part to assist in finding the solution.


Friday, November 19, 2010


To All Valley TeleCom Group Customers:

            For the past 9 days some of our customers have been experiencing intermittent incoming long distance calls.  Valley has been working with various long distance providers to troubleshoot this problem.  Through the process, we have found that the problems affect customers not only in Arizona and New Mexico, but also Colorado and Wyoming. 

We want you to know that the issue does not reside in Valley TeleCom's network.  It seems at this point that all Valley TeleCom Group Long Distance subscribers can complete all outgoing long distance calls.  If this is not the case, we ask you to let us know by calling our support line at 800-400-1273 or by sending an email to

If you receive a call and they state there have been problems completing a call to your phone number, we suggest you refer them to their Long Distance Provider to report the trouble.  This will help that provider expedite the troubleshooting process.

We apologize for any inconveniences this problem has caused especially during this holiday season but we are working hard on our customer's behalf to do our part to assist in finding the solution.



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