Today, the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force issued a Public Notice proposing to conduct real-world trials and seeking input on specific potential trials. The goal of any trials will be to assist the Commission in ensuring that its policy decisions relating to ongoing technology transitions are solidly grounded in good data.
Communications networks are changing from copper to fiber and from time division multiplexing (TDM) to Internet protocols; wireless voice and data services are increasingly important. These are exciting developments. The ongoing technology transitions hold the promise for tremendous benefits for consumers. Among other things, these new technologies can deliver higher quality service and higher speed broadband to more Americans. IP-based networks also make it easier to deploy feature-rich next-generation 911 systems. At the same time, we must ensure that the transitions preserve and advance the core values reflected in the Communications Act: consumer protection, universal service, competition, and public safety.
To protect those core values, we need good data. Indeed, Chairman Genachowski established the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force to “conduct a data driven review” as it formulates “recommendations to modernize the Commission’s policies.” Accordingly, in March, the Task Force held a public workshop with experts from around the country. The workshop focused on the capabilities and limitations of new and emerging technologies, the decisions consumers are making as they adopt voice and broadband services, and the plans of various providers in deploying the new technologies.
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