Print 22 comment(s) - last by DocScience.. on Feb 3 at 1:59 PM

Carriers would be able to replace old copper wires with either fiber or wireless

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is allowing carriers like Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. to conduct trials for digital phone networks instead of the traditional analog versions. 
According to the FCC, it unanimously voted in favor of trials that test a switch from circuit-switch technology to internet protocol-based networks. But the FCC said it isn't testing the new technology itself -- since it's already in use -- but rather, it will test how consumers react to the switch, how it benefits them, how it performs in important situations, etc. 
This could certainly prove to be advantageous for consumers, especially those in rural areas that often complain about little to no connectivity when it comes to their IP-based services. 
The carriers would definitely benefit, as they'd be able to replace old copper wires with either fiber or wireless. This would mean they wouldn't have to continue investing in both old networks and new networks anymore. 

It's not clear when the trials will begin, but they will be voluntary and cover multiple areas with different topologies, weather conditions and population densities/demographics. 

AT&T is just one U.S. company that has been launching a fiber network around the states. For instance, the carrier released its U-verse all-fiber Internet network with GigaPower in Austin, Texas last month, which will deliver initial speeds of 300 megabits-per-second. According to AT&T, its new service will offer upstream speeds 20 times faster than what’s available today, and it will reportedly allow users to download a full HD movie in under two minutes. 

Google is another tech giant implementing its fiber network around the country. It has already gone live in Kansas, Utah and Texas

Source: FCC

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Most importantly,
By villageidiotintern on 1/31/2014 1:20:39 PM , Rating: 4
they believe they can gain the ability to discontinue service to unprofitable customers, the real goal of all these companies.

RE: Most importantly,
By mdogs444 on 1/31/14, Rating: -1
RE: Most importantly,
By Motoman on 1/31/2014 2:23:48 PM , Rating: 5
That's why phone and electrical lines aren't placed purely in the hands of private companies.

Because it doesn't make good business sense from a boardroom standpoint to bring telephone and electricity to rural citizens.

RE: Most importantly,
By sorry dog on 1/31/2014 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 5
Wait - you expect a for profit company to act like the government is supposed to - in the best interest of the people. Except that the company has no duty or responsibility to do that.

Not true. The company gets a government sponsored monopoly, but in exchange for that they have certain responsibilities that is in the interest of the government. One of those is having to provide service to all customers in that region (within reason), whether it profitable or not. The Telco companies didn't have to take the deal.

But let's be straight, they don't like it as much as they used to because competition from IP tech siphoned off a lot of the more profitable customers... BUT they are still benefiting from being the common carrier. Just take a look at your landline telephone bill and see which tax is the highest.

RE: Most importantly,
By chromal on 1/31/2014 5:08:09 PM , Rating: 4
They are a utility. A business that exists to provide a necessary public service in returned for a fixed profit margin. Thing is, they've betrayed the public trust for over two decades, and have been taking profits instead of reinvesting in the US's telecommunication's future, concentrating on less-regulated wireless services and metered services that are out of step with the post-Internet world in which we live.

RE: Most importantly,
By drycrust3 on 1/31/2014 2:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
Not being an American, I would be very surprised if they haven't been able to do this since Bell invented the telephone.
No, the reason's they want to go digital are more than likely better frequency response (4Khz at present), better dynamic range, better noise immunity, better video feed (none at present), better file transfers (none at present), better text messaging (none on land lines at present), better document transfers (need specialised machine at present), better multiple users per line capability (generally one phone number per line at present, unless you use specialist equipment), better encryption (none at present), etc.

RE: Most importantly,
By hpglow on 1/31/2014 3:23:01 PM , Rating: 3
It has more to do with our antiquated laws here. Telephone providers are by law required to provide service to any household that wants service. Because of the way the law is written wireless and fiber doesn't count. Just the same way railroads are still required to buy coal even though nothing they have still uses it, but because of some stupid regulation they still have to buy it. So they basically buy and resell the coal back as required.

RE: Most importantly,
By lagomorpha on 1/31/2014 2:31:45 PM , Rating: 3
No no no, you've got it all wrong. They want to be allowed to charge low-cost urban customers high rates to subsidize equipment in high-cost per customer rural areas and then they want to charge higher prices in those low population density areas while offering mediocre service.

RE: Most importantly,
By DocScience on 2/3/2014 1:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
So a company should KEEP money-losing customers????

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