On January 30th, 2014, the FCC approved a measure which will permit telephone carriers to conduct VoIP trials in certain localities. The ultimate goal of the VoIP trials is to assess the impact, viability and implications of providing large-scale service via IP –rather than via traditional copper telephone lines.
If the results of these VoIP trials indicate the ability for IP telephony to meet the requirements set forth by the FCC, carriers would ostensibly be permitted to migrate customers to IP-based systems and eventually abandon the current copper infrastructure.
Participation in VoIP trials by carriers and consumers will be voluntary. Furthermore, very strict protocols have been set forth by the FCC to ensure that consumers will be protected during the VoIP trials. For example, proposals must be submitted and approved by the FCC before any trial may begin.
Why bother with VoIP trials?
Telephone companies have indicated that maintaining the current copper infrastructure is very expensive.
The money invested in maintaining old networks could better be allocated for implementing and improving new networks that are internet-based.
During Hurricane Sandy, a significant amount of copper infrastructure was destroyed.
Much of that was then replaced with fiber optics and wireless-based systems due to the impracticality of repairing the copper networks.
The reality is that IP telephony has already become very popular amongst consumers and businesses. There is no doubt that it will replace copper at some point in the not-so-distant future. However, IP telephony has been proven over the years. It is still unfamiliar technology to some, which is perhaps why some consumers object to the possibility of abandoning traditional copper infrastructure. It is my belief that as people learn more about IP telephony, they’ll begin to realize the many benefits that it can offer them and how it’s not something to fear.
What do you think?
1. If you’re not already a VoIP consumer, is this because of concerns that you have about the technology? If so, what are your concerns?
2. What additional benefits could come out of migrating to IP telephony?
3. Do you have any questions about what I discussed? We would be happy to answer them.