FCC Adopts Rules for Legacy Phone Network Transition to Ensure an Upgrade for Everyone

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules for the orderly phase out of the legacy telephone network as part of the upgrade of the national communications infrastructure (called the “Tech Transitions”).

The Following statement may be jointly attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge; David Young, Vice President of Public Policy at Verizon; Debbie Goldman, Telecommunications Policy Director at Communications Workers of America; Robert Quinn, Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory Policy at AT&T; and Jon Banks, Senior Vice President of Law and Policy at United States Telecom Association.

"Whatever our disagreements about the process the FCC has adopted today, we agree that the transition of the traditional phone network to next-generation platforms has the potential to improve the lives of all Americans. Providers such as Verizon and AT&T continue to invest billions of dollars upgrading America's infrastructure, with the potential of creating thousands of new, good paying jobs and bringing the benefits of digital technologies to all Americans.

"We all agree that the next Administration will have a huge role to play in facilitating this transition. As the largest single user of telecommunications services, the Federal Government must be a leader, not a laggard, in embracing our communications infrastructure upgrade. In addition, we look to the next Administration to help educate state and local governments, the business community, and the American people about the benefits of upgrading our national communications infrastructure. A project of this scope and magnitude can only happen successfully if all stakeholders work together in the spirit of cooperation and good faith rather than in an atmosphere of confrontation and suspicion.

"We look forward to working with the next Administration, and with each other, to make the upgrade of the phone system an upgrade for everyone."

For further information, please contact:

Shiva Stella, Public Knowledge
Richard Young, Verizon
Debbie Goldman, Communications Workers of America
Michael Balmoris, AT&T
Amy Schatz, United States Telecom Association

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