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Commission Document Attachment

DOC-324663A5

STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

ON THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSITIONS POLICY TASK FORCE PRESENTATION

DECEMBER 12, 2013

The IP Transition is happening. Millions of consumers have fled the copper networks of the 20th
century for 21st century technologies like interconnected VoIP and 4G LTE mobile broadband. Indeed,
almost one in seven American households with a traditional access line dropped it last year alone. It’s
fair to say that time-division-multiplexed services over copper landlines are a bit like VCRs or
typewriters—once almost ubiquitous but now an outdated holdover given better alternatives.
That’s why I was pleased last month when Chairman Wheeler announced that “now . . . is the
time to act” on the IP Transition. That’s why I am pleased to hear today’s report from the FCC’s task
force on the transition. And that’s why I am especially pleased with the recommendation that the
Commission move forward in January with targeted experiments, including an All-IP Pilot Program.
Back in March, I called for the Commission to move forward with this proposal because
conducting voluntary all-IP trials in a discrete set of wire centers will help consumers, carriers, and the
Commission see what happens when the PSTN goes dark and all-IP networks take their place. To borrow
from the interim director of the task force, I hope such experiments will help us “separat[e] the
evidentiary wheat from the rhetorical chaff” when it comes to the IP Transition. If, as our former
colleague Blair Levin has said, “an experiment is worth a thousand pleadings,” we will gain valuable
insight indeed.
My thanks go out to all of the staff for their hard work reviewing the record already developed in
this docket and putting together today’s presentation. I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labors
next month. And I am eager to work with my colleagues to ensure that American consumers realize the
full benefits of the IP Transition in years to come.

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