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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt a framework guiding the technology transition from the legacy phone network to digital services, ensuring the transition is an upgrade for all Americans and not just an upgrade for some and a downgrade for others.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:
“Today’s FCC Order does more than protect the tens of millions of businesses and local governments, the thousands of public safety systems and the more than 50 million Americans still using the legacy copper phone network. Today’s action ensures that as telephone companies spend billions of dollars to upgrade our national communications network, it will genuinely be an upgrade for all Americans, not an upgrade for some and a downgrade for others.
“Perhaps even more importantly for the future, the new process for upgrading the old phone network provides a way for local communities to work with the phone companies to leverage our universal phone system as we build a universal broadband network. Today, 96% of Americans have access to some kind of voice service, but only 80% of Americans have home broadband. A hundred years ago, we made it our national policy to put a phone on every farm and in every home. By creating a process for the orderly phase out of the old voice system, the FCC has also provided a tool for ensuring that no one is left behind in the broadband revolution.”