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IP Telephony Trials Pique FCC Interest

Commission asks for public input on tests involving VoIP, NG911 and transition from wired to wireless networks

As telephony continues to evolve from a copper to fiber infrastructure, the FCC is looking at potential trials that would provide data on VoIP interconnection, next-generation 911 services (NG911) and the transition from wireline networks to wireless networks.

The issue is of interest to radio stations that rely on the carriers’ telco infrastructure for some aspects of content distribution.

In the VoIP trial, for example, the agency is asking for help to decide whether industry standards are needed regarding codecs, signaling and quality-of-service measurements.

The agency seeks comment from stakeholders on various aspects of planned trials.

The request for comments is at the suggestion of the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force. Several FCC bureaus are involved in the group.

Forbes reported that AT&T was hoping to persuade the commission to sunset the publicly switched telephone network by the end of 2015 so it wouldn’t need to continue to maintain its legacy copper infrastructure. The carrier also hopes to prevent legacy regulations from being applied to new IP-based infrastructure.

The commission didn’t comment on that specifically. It does note that AT&T and others have proposed an “all-IP” wire center trial and that portions of what the commission is proposing now address aspects of the AT&T proposal.

Comments to GN Docket 13-5 would be due 45 days after Federal Register publication.