NPRM seeks to address effects of discontinuance of copper-based services on consumers, competition.
As many readers doubtless know (and as we have previously reported), the IP transition is underway: telecom carriers are shifting away from time division multiplex (TDM) technology using traditional copper wires; instead, they are embracing Internet protocol (IP) technology using optical fiber and coaxial cable facilities. This shift will implicate a wide range of regulatory considerations which the FCC is already looking into. It will also affect consumers and competitive telecommunications providers who are used to the TDM/copper wire way of life.
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Declaratory Order (NPRM/DO), the Commission has requested comments on three particular ways in which the transition will affect consumers and competitive providers.
Back-up Power. The legacy copper network is powered from the telephone company central office, where back-up generators are usually available when commercial power fails. Because consumers don’t need to provide their own electricity to power their landline phones, the phones usually work during a power outage as long as the phone wires on the street haven’t been knocked down. But when phone service is Internet-based and provided by cable or fiber, power does not come from the central office – meaning that, if a household relying on IP/non-copper telephone service loses power, its phones go dead unless some back-up power system is in place in the consumer’s home or office.Continue Reading...