Public Knowledge and Center For Media Justice Release “What’s the Hang Up” Toolkit

December 12, 2013

As the nations largest carriers pioneer a network upgrade, Public Knowledge and the Center of Media Justice released a toolkit designed to educate Americans about the IP transition’s potential impact on our everyday lives.

While this transition has the potential to lead to a more efficient communications infrastructure, there are still lots of decisions about how the values that made the old system great will apply to the new. 

The “What’s the Hang Up?” toolkit was designed as an advocacy guide for anyone who depends on a reliable and affordable phone system. While the IP transition gives carriers the opportunity to provide new, faster and cheaper service; policymakers need to ensure carriers retain the values that made America’s phone system a truly universal service.  

“What’s the Hang Up?” includes a brief history of how the universal phone system we have in place today came to be, how it is changing and what the potential impact on various communities could be. It also includes advocacy and messaging tools as well as tips on how to engage with local and federal policymakers. The goal of this toolkit is to empower everyday Americans to become involved in crafting how the communications system of our future will function. 

The telephone made universal communications possible by keeping families connected, acting as a lifeline in times of crisis, and serving as an economic engine for small businesses. We must ensure its continued success. It’s important that Americans hold carriers accountable in ensuring the values that made the last 100 years of our phone network great remain in place. 

The IP transition is also on the agenda for today’s FCC open commission meeting. The meeting will confirm the release of an order that will propose how the transition will be moving at the end of January. As policymakers move forward, now is a crucial time for the public to become engaged.