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The IP Transition: What is it and what the debate is about

on November 22, 2013

Gigaom

The Federal Communications Commission Chairman today said that the Commission will open a proceeding in January to lay out how the nation will graduate from the old copper telephone networks to the digital and IP-based networks. This is a process that began with broadband networks and has gathered steam as Americans abandoned copper landlines and embraced voice-over-IP services.

Five years ago I laid out AT&T’s arguments in favor of killing its obligations to the copper telephone network, an argument that grows stronger with time. Verizon’s efforts to replace the damaged copper network from Hurricane Sandy with wireless are another example of a carrier trying to move from the copper age into the digital age. The outcry that followed Verizon’s move is why the FCC has to act.

The carriers don’t want to have to operate old-school networks that are more expensive to maintain and don’t offer the flexibility that a…

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