In January, the Commission’s unanimously adopted Technology Transitions Order kick-started the process for a diverse set of experiments and data collection initiatives focused on how consumers are affected by the historic technology transitions that are transforming our nation’s communications networks. Just one month later, providers and members of the public are accepting the Commission’s invitation to participate in that process.
For example, on Friday AT&T filed a proposal for service-based experiments that would explore the transitions to wireline and wireless Internet Protocol-based services in its wire centers in Carbon Hill, Alabama and the other in West Delray Beach, Florida. The Wireline Competition Bureau then issued a Public Notice seeking public comment on AT&T’s proposal. Just last week, the Bureau sought comment on a service-based proposal filed by another entity, Iowa Network Services.
There also is much enthusiasm around the targeted rural broadband experiments that the Technology Transitions Order authorized. At least 15 parties already have filed expressions of interest in conducting a rural broadband experiment with Connect America funding, and we expect to receive many more expressions of interest by the initial March 7 deadline. We also look forward to the Rural Broadband Workshop that the Commission will host on March 19.
As Chairman Wheeler has explained, the service-based experiments, rural broadband experiments, and other initiatives set in motion by the Technology Transitions Order will help the Commission in making decisions that advance and accelerate technology transitions while fulfilling the enduring values of the Network Compact: universal service, public safety, competition and consumer protection. We are pleased that the process is off to a strong start.