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FCC Reviews Copper-to-IP Transition

Agency asks about back-up power, incentives

As Radio World readers realize, the IP transition is well underway.

As one angle on that trend, we’ve published articles about how it’s harder for stations to obtain copper phone lines for remotes as telecom carriers replace traditional copper wires with fiber and coaxial cables.

Law firm Fletcher Heald & Hildreth notes that, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Declaratory Order, the FCC is asking good questions about how the transition will affect consumers and competing service providers.

Questions like: What’s the best way to provide backup power? How should a “copper retirement” be handled are explored, including the nitty gritty of how much notice should the providers give customers?

The commission is also considering whether it should promote the sale or auction of existing copper networks after carriers are done with them. “That is, a carrier wishing to retire its existing copper would be incentivized, or possibly even required, to make a good-faith effort to sell its copper facilities before abandoning them. The idea is that existing or new competitors might be willing to enter the market by acquiring the to-be-abandoned copper facilities,” writes FHH’s Peter Tannenwald. Read his post about it.

Comments are due 30 days after Federal Register publication.