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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RE: Copper good
By Azuroth on 1/31/2014 3:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'd just like to point out that POTS requires power to the central office. If their power goes down, (and their backup/generator runs out of power) your copper lines don't have service either.

I think most phone providers go for 5 sigma reliability on their POTS lines, which means for around 5 minutes a year you wouldn't get a dial tone.

Much more reliable than wireless, but not immune to blanket power outages :)

RE: Copper good
By Motoman on 1/31/2014 3:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
True...although clearly the likelihood that *they* lose power is exponentially smaller than the likelihood that *you* lose power ;)

RE: Copper good
By Lord 666 on 1/31/2014 8:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the spec for POTS is DC current supplied by batteries. Another interesting thing about POTS is alarm systems look for variations in current for up/down situations vs dial tone, part of the reason why alarms are not connected to a pbx. So if this digital service goes full effect, some alarms will have to be redone. Even in my own house, the alarm system is fed by a FiOS ONT, but some people have issues with it.

There were quite a few CO's that were knocked out during Sandy. Wireless (specifically VZW) proved to be reliable.

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