FCC Continues to Investigate Phone Companies' Move From Copper to IP
The FCC hosted a Dec. 12 event, as it seeks out answers to critical questions in the phone companies' transition from copper to IP-based networks.The Federal Communications Commission hosted a Technology Transition Task Force presentation Dec. 12, as it begins the process of overseeing the phone companies' desired transition from old copper landlines to IP (Internet protocol)-based networks. The key point about the transition—which all involved parties agree has its benefits—is that legislation regarding the phone networks, which includes assurances of customer privacy and the right to have 99.999 percent reliable phone service, is tied to the copper networks, and not the general premise of phone service. "As network services are transformed from 19th century analog technology to 21st century IP technology, the question we must answer is how to ensure that the values that consumers have come to expect from their networks are preserved and enhanced," FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler said in a Dec. 12 statement that went on to state what has already been accomplished and what must still be addressed. "Building IP-based networks has been refined over the years, so we don't really need 'technology' experiments. What we do need are technology impact experiments, because technology transitions will ultimately move up a notch," Wheeler continued.
"Today, for example, IP is an ancillary capability while TDM remains universally available; tomorrow, IP will be the delivery technology. These experiments are therefore designed to identify in advance issues that must be resolved—and their solutions—so that consumers can continue to rely on the networks that connect them."