(The Hosting News) – In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of launching a set of trials to study how to replace traditional phone lines with Internet based networks.
“Our communications are rapidly transitioning to IP-networks – and that’s a good thing. The move from the circuit-switched networks of Alexander Graham Bell to the new networks of the Internet Revolution is all around us – with expanded deployment of fiber, with new forms of wireless, with bonded copper and coaxial cable,” wrote FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler. “These transitions – plural – are a good thing because IP networks are more efficient, which can enable better products, lower prices, and massive benefits for consumers.”
According to CNet, FCC officials have stated that the tests will be done on a voluntary basis and will cover all population and geographical areas, as many are worried that rural areas will have difficulty receiving the new updates.
Carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and CentryLink have been advocating this move for a while, stating that current phone lines “no longer meet the needs of America’s consumers.”
In mid-November, AT&T Vice President, Jim Cicconi ssaid that “the transition to broadband and IP services that has already begun is driven by consumers who are moving to the Internet and choosing to connect in ways not imagined just a decade ago. Like any change it requires planning. The geographic trials directed by Chairman Wheeler will provide the real world answers needed to ensure a seamless transition,”
Recommendations for the trials are due February 20th, in which the Commission will make a final decision in May.