FCC to Tackle PSTN Shutdown Issues

By Gary Kim November 20, 2013

Nothing ever is really easy for communications regulators when it comes to crafting rules that promote both competition and investment, as well as “fair” policies when industries collide or a major transition has to be made from older technologies to newer technologies.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission therefore will not face a politically easy task when it once again engages in December 2013, with the process of speeding the transition from legacy time division multiplex networks to Internet Protocol networks.

The transition includes other elements, such as the transition from copper access to fiber and other forms of access, the rules that should apply to legacy services in the transition and whether the new networks also require different policy frameworks.

The FCC’s Technology Transitions Policy Task Force will present a status update in December, with the expectation that an order for immediate action will be considered. That means the FCC will ask for further input on what experiments need to be conducted on how IP networks can, and should work.

The order also will ask for input on processes the FCC can use to guide the shutdown of the older public network and the activation of new IP networks.

Recently, for example, there has been friction between buyers of special access services and sellers of such services. But disputes over special access rates and terms of service have been contentious for some time.

Buyers of special access services frequently have complained about high prices for special access. In 2012, the FCC suspended pricing freedom rules for special access services, because of such friction.

Most recently, AT&T changed its multi-year contract rates, in anticipation of a complete phase out of special access services, in favor of Ethernet only high-bandwidth services.

That illustrates the many practical considerations the FCC will face as it plans for a shutdown of the older network and the substitution of an all-IP network.

Many bigger issues will have to be confronted, though, including such issues as the extent of common carrier rules in an environment where some telcos, but not other service providers, must comply with such rules.

Those rules will necessarily affect policy about investment in rural and hard-to-serve areas, for example.




Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More

Making Connections - The Value of Data Correlation

By: Special Guest    1/5/2018

The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applicat…

Read More

3 Ways to Improve Your VR Projects

By: Ellie Martin    1/4/2018

There is no denying that VR is here and will most likely only increase in velocity as a terminal speed is yet to be even hypothesized. That is why it …

Read More

Alphabet to See Schmidt Step Down

By: Maurice Nagle    12/21/2017

In 2001, Google brought Eric Schmidt on board as CEO. To 10 years later become executive chairman, and continue to serve in this capacity through rest…

Read More