FCC OKs Trials for Digital Phone Networks
January 31, 2014 12:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
, 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
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RE: Copper good
1/31/2014 3:31:39 PM
The suggestion is that they prove to the FCC that a wireless infrastructure can meet the reliability requirements the FCC mandates. That is the purpose of these tests.
Overall I tend to agree with this direction as it would free up resources from maintaining hundreds of miles of copper line that is slowly becoming unused. And if the FCC does it's job simultaneously wireless reliability should be improved to maintain standards. So, ideally you would find you have better service from the cellular which is what you want to use anyways, and you can drop the landline.
Of course this requires that the FCC actually hold them to the standards, and with a lobbyist like Wheeler as chairman my faith in that happening is effectively none.
Perhaps I'm pessimistic, but I expect this to raise rates and lower quality across the board, with execs throwing parties in their boardrooms at all their extra profits.
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