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FCC requires consumer protections in telephone transition to IP

Grant Gross | Aug. 7, 2015
Telecom carriers must get permission from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to replace their copper networks with Internet Protocol-based systems if the change will result in discontinued or reduced voice services for customers.

Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn voted to support the new rules, but she lamented that there will be no government outreach to educate consumers about the IP transition. In a 2009 transition from analog to digital television in the U.S., the government spent billions of dollars on educational outreach, when the number of affected consumers was about half of the number potentially affected by the IP transition, she said.

The rules will protect consumers and businesses who depend on telephone service, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. "Changing technology is not a rationale for stifling service or competition," he said. "Changing technology does not change responsibly."

 

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