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Communications AT&T United States

FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital 218

An anonymous reader sends word that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has given the go-ahead for telecommunications companies to start experimenting with an IP-based telephone protocol. From the article: "The experiments approved by the FCC would not test the new technology - it is already being used - and would not determine law and policy regulating it, FCC staff said. The trials would seek to establish, among other things, how consumers welcome the change and how new technology performs in emergency situations, including in remote locations. 'What we're doing here is a big deal. This is an important moment,' FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. 'We today invite service providers to propose voluntary experiments for all-IP networks.' The move in part grants the application by AT&T to conduct IP transition tests as companies that offer landline phone services seek to ultimately replace their old copper wires with newer technology like fiber or wireless."
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FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @01:14AM (#46132147)

    I'm not at all saying that the FCC is pushing towards surveillance with this, but I question whether or not this makes it easier, more difficult, or the same. I'm under the impression that it would become easier to spy on the content of calls (the so called "metadata" wouldn't see any change, of course).

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @05:31AM (#46132861) Homepage Journal

    If your neighbor is a paramedic, that might work fine. Otherwise, not so much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @11:22AM (#46134057)

    I've got a cable company provided VoIP service in an area prone to power outages. I also have my POTS service as well that I refuse to discontinue, much top the chagrin of the cable provider AND the POTS provider.

    I have extensive UPS and the ability to run some devices without power for as much as a couple of days. But, it's utterly pointless with the cable provider because, apparently, the intermediate nodes every mile or so between me and the CO/headend are battery backed. But, their batteries die after a couple of hours. So, no matter what I do, the VoIP service(and the internet service) die after two hours.

    Now, let's not kid ourselves, the POTS CO also uses a battery bank too. But, that battery bank can run the CO for half a day, after that, a generator cranks up and runs the POP for five days, minimum, before needing to be refueled. The POTS essentially never goes down.

    POTS provides 99.999% (five nines) reliability (that's 5.26 minutes of down time per annum) whereas, despite outlandish claims that are bald faced lies, the cable provider's VoIP service is more akin to 99.9% (three nines) reliability (that's 525 minutes, 8.75 HOURS, downtime per annum). I suffer numerous VoIP outages for short and long period every year. If it wasn't for my ability to make international calls for a tiny fraction of the price, I would abandon VoIP completely.

    Oh, and don't get me started on unreliable call qu-a---l-it---y... quality, DTMF detection, number spoofing with no ability to trace...

    But, here's the KICKER. I sell, install, and maintain VoIP PBX networks. Behind all their SIP trunks, they all have POTS backups, ever at the ready. How's that for irony?

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama