FCC Authorizes Voluntary Trials to Test Transition to IP Networks

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The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry, it which it launches a set of voluntary experiments intended to measure the impact of transitioning from legacy to all-IP networks.  The experiments will gather information in three broad areas: service-based experiments, targeted experiments and cooperative research, and data improvement.  Providers have until February 20 to submit proposals to initiate tests of providing IP-based alternatives to existing services in discrete geographic areas or situations, after which the FCC will solicit public comment.  Other experiments will explore the impact on “specific values”, including universal access and competition.  Experiments will focus on ways to deliver robust broadband to rural areas, the development and funding of interagency research on IP-based technologies for people with disabilities, and telephone numbering in an all-IP world.  Other experiments will focus on reform of the FCC’s consumer complaint and inquiry process, intergovernmental collaboration, and the collection and analysis of data on next-generation 911 systems.

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