Updated FCC Ruling on Technology Transition

in News
August 5, 2016
Updated FCC Ruling on Technology Transition

Consumer protections put into play until 2025

On July 14, 2016 the FCC adopted new rules and guidelines to support the transition of “switched access” service to more modern technology. The new guidelines are intended to assure that existing client needs are addressed with replacement technologies such as support for fax machines, home security systems, medical monitoring devices, and other legacy equipment until 2025.

The FCC technology transition, also known as the TDM-to-IP transition, is focused on replacing traditional voice infrastructure with alternatives that utilize voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and wireless technologies. At the same time carriers are also replacing aging copper network infrastructure with fiber and wireless in preparation for deploying wide scale broadband services.

The FCC has ruled that incumbent local exchange carriers looking to discontinue switched access services must prove there is a suitable replacement alternative. The criteria established include:

  • It must offer “substantially similar” network performance and service quality.
  • It must ensure that critical applications such as 911 services are retained.

Until 2025, it must support key applications, such as interoperability with fax and home security devices.
FCC officials have also noted that the approval process could take longer if the replacement service is more costly than the legacy switched access service it replaces.