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Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission confirmed the agency’s July 14 Open Meeting agenda, including an item on the phone network’s technology transition. This digital or “IP” transition involves all carriers transitioning the phone network from copper lines to fiber cables. Public Knowledge, which has long spearheaded efforts to ensure this massive phone network upgrade remains an upgrade for all Americans, commends the FCC on its progress.
The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
“It's hard to overstate how critical the telephone network is to the operation of this country. Everything from school fire alarms to point-of-sale systems to at-home medical monitors depends on the phone system to work. That is in addition to millions of Americans who rely on self-powered legacy copper systems to deliver basic, reliable telephone service. It's no exaggeration to say that most of modern American society -- including the internet -- was built on the back of the copper phone network.
“As technology evolves, it is absolutely critical to make sure that the transition from legacy copper to new fiber-based technologies happens with minimal interruption both to consumers and key services. From what we know of the item circulated, the Commission's new rules will provide a framework to ensure that, as copper lines are retired and removed, the replacement lines offer the same functionality and capabilities with only minimal interruption. We applaud the Commission for setting robust standards and a comprehensive framework to ensure that the transition from old to new technology moves smoothly.”
For more information, please view our tech transitions page, latest blog series, and our recent white paper, “Five Fundamentals for the Phone Network Transition.”