As fewer users come to rely on the copper network and older switching technologies, maintenance has become more difficult and expensive. That's a big part of why AT&T and other carriers are hoping to retire legacy networks quickly, replacing them with IP networks that will use a combination of fiber optics, 4G LTE wireless, and short copper loops to handle voice, video, and data traffic. In November, AT&T committed an additional $14 billion over the next three years to accelerate the replacement of its wired and wireless network technologies. Other carriers are making similar investments.
Berninger argues that the operating expenses of native IP networks could be as much as 90 percent less than today's fading Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) infrastructure, But that's not the only reason carriers are investing billions to make the transition, Native IP networks will also support new voice services, including wideband audio or "HD Voice." HD Voice dramatically expands the frequency range of what is currently possible over narrowband PSTN, While human speech ranges between 80Hz and 14kHz, legacy phone networks narrow that to between 300Hz and 3.4kHz, HD Voice, on the other hand, transmits between 50Hz and 7kHz or higher, (One reason voice quality can be poor even iphone case ysl on LTE network calls is that the sampling range is reduced for transit over PSTN backhaul networks.)..
Removing Legacy Regulatory Barriers to Change. The only thing holding back the transition to all-IP broadband networks now is an equally decaying infrastructure of legacy regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. Holdovers from the days of the former telephone monopoly, these complicated rules require carriers to seek permission to discontinue or even to change service offerings once they've been approved by regulators. "We pretend there are two industries -- information technology and communications technology," Berninger said. "But today the only meaningful difference is that the latter is still the subject of intense federal, state, and local regulation." That's one reason -- perhaps the key reason -- consumer electronics and mobile technologies can improve at the speed of Moore's Law, while traditional voice communications are still largely stuck where they were "eighty years ago," Berninger said.
To its credit, the Federal Communications Commission last month began soliciting comments on proposed trials of PSTN to IP changeover in a few select locations, The agency also created a Technology Transitions Policy Task Force to help speed the deployment of broadband technologies, "Technological transitions don't change the basic mission of the FCC," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said at the time, "But technology changes can drive changes in markets and competition, And many of the Commission's existing rules draw technology-based distinctions, So the ongoing changes in our nation's communications networks require iphone case ysl a hard look at many rules that were written for a different technological and market landscape."..
(On Wednesday, Genachowski will deliver a keynote speech at CES, as he has every year since being confirmed as FCC chairman.). Indeed, the FCC could be credited with starting the process of retiring legacy copper networks, a subject treated in detail in the 2010 National Broadband Plan. AT&T's Hultquist said the trials will help regulators and carriers resolve several unanswered questions about how best to make the transition and over what time period, including ensuring that vital services, such as 911 calling, won't be interrupted. To conduct the trials, the FCC will need to waive a wide variety of reporting and other detailed regulations at least temporarily. The FCC may also need to run interference with state and local regulators who share jurisdiction over legacy phone service.
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