Light Reading
There are several things the FCC must do to make the IP transition successful for service providers and consumers alike.

Successfully Managing the IP Transition Is a Tall Order

Steve Leonard
4/2/2014
50%
50%

The FCC’s recent order for the management of experiments to spur a successful PSTN-to-IP transition officially kicks off an ambitious agenda for the coming months.

As the industry and consumers continue to press ahead with greater adoption of Internet Protocol technology all the time, it has become apparent that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must actively balance the drive to innovate with protection for consumers. A speedy yet orderly transition to an all-IP, competitive environment is what providers and end-users alike will benefit from most.

With this target in sight, the FCC has set out to conduct experiments and data collection that will enable it to have greater visibility into the inner workings of IP networks and services. The experiments are designed to highlight real-world events but in a relatively controlled setting. In order to advance its understanding of technological details, the Commission has asked for proposals to conduct discrete IP service-based experiments as well as experiments and research targeted at studying network values. As the experiments are conducted, the Commission is emphasizing that consumers must not be harmed in the process. Therefore, emergency services and disability access support will remain paramount.

As we’ve seen in the context of the non-carrier numbering trials, the "success" of an experiment may be very much in the eyes of the beholder. However, at a high level at least, the FCC has established some clear objective goals to aim for, and success should be measured by how much it learns in the process. The Commission's bold move to endorse experimentation is laudable. Further, it appears it also has a solid roadmap to follow along the way.

As Chairman Wheeler stated in adopting the IP Transition Order: “We favor technological innovation. And… we affirm the enduring values of the Network Compact: universal service, public safety, competition, and consumer protection.” As long as the Commission remains true to these guiding principles, end-users should benefit immensely.

Beyond learning from experimentation, success will come from applying the learnings to the regulatory framework that ultimately guides the marketplace. Below we outline some essential outcomes that may become the true objective measures of the FCC’s performance:

Relevant data sets: The first step is to gather useful and relevant data. Then, once gathered, it will need to be analyzed carefully. Finally, the analysis that is done must be translated into concrete applications in the marketplace. If not, then we are wasting our time. Within each of these categories of the process there are potential pitfalls. For example, at the outset -- for data to be useful and relevant it will need to be scalable but without manipulating the results. High volume and the ability to scale the results will be a critical outcome of the trial.

Ability to connect the dots: A structure that can be digested and followed by a diverse set of consumers will be critical. This is true for the FCC as it conducts the process as well as for the communications industry as a whole. With separate trials for different types of companies (think: wireless carriers and cable companies), it is difficult to understand how they’re interrelated and can all work together across telecom segments. Right now, there are regulatory incentives that cause players to aggressively work to position themselves in desired service categories. Ultimately, however, for end-users to benefit, the FCC should guard against this sort of regulatory arbitrage. Therefore, before major reform is instituted we’ll need to understand the interrelatedness of the issues at hand. Otherwise, unintended consequences will proliferate.

Encouraging innovation: The governing bodies managing the trial need to remain supportive of new ideas, allowing consumers to dictate what they like and what works. If not, then we won’t reach the full potential of IP-based communication, stifling the innovation and new methods of communications before they ever get a chance to blossom.

High-definition, not standard-definition: The value proposition of a transitioned number opens up a lot of opportunity for better communication, rich media, and HD voice. Transitioning to IP without factoring in HD voice will stifle opportunities and innovative progress. The inherent slowness to open up the barrier won’t be changed overnight -- for many years, we will still need to make calls into the public switched telephone network (PSTN). In an IP world, it’s easier to enable HD experiences for extraordinary human interactions. As the PSTN continues to die, how fast it does so will be the proof of HD’s success.

Emergency services and consumer protections: Public safety features are still an important concern, though it will be a longer, more difficult process to enable as a fully functioning IP-based infrastructure. Of course, it is also a necessity, so a full transition will not be possible until everything that is currently possible for emergency communications on the PSTN -- both within public safety answering points and from the underlying phone company -- is also possible in an IP-based environment. Small steps to enable this may happen in 2014, but we can’t predict when emergency communications will be fully transitioned.

That being said, once it is fully transitioned, it opens the door to more much more flexible emergency communications, including even greater location accuracy, innovative features such as text-to-911, and emergency video calling. All of the regulation, possibilities, and steps that need to be taken to enable IP-based 911 cannot be fully explained in a short paragraph, but it is important to address that this will be a major process to pay close attention to during the trial.

IP communications create opportunities for innovation that consumers are already craving -- and OTT-based communications are feeding those cravings. While some carriers continue to drag their feet to switch from the PSTN, consumers are finding ways around traditional carrier services. Once you’ve lost the consumers, it is difficult to win them back, even after the IP transition.

Thus our request of the FCC is to focus the industry in a direction that avoids barriers that delay consumers from availing themselves of the full benefit of the IP transition -- and instead move aggressively ahead on an ambitious transition path as rapidly as possible.

— Steve Leonard, EVP and General Manager, Bandwidth

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Infostack
50%
50%
Infostack,
User Rank: Moderator
5/4/2014 | 9:23:45 PM
100 year old battle
The IP train left the station 10-15 years ago.

This is about the fate of the vertically integrated edge access provider model. 

The WAN vs MAN math is pretty simple and stark: $0.0000004 vs $0.001 per voice minute.  Google has already proved the MAN cost can move 2 decimal places to the right, and that's without another one or 2/3's of the real business model.

That model will be driven by:

4K VoD

2-way HD collaboration (centrally procurred)

Seamless mobile BB

IoT

All of this requires cloud economics moving to the edge to address capacity, latency, security, performance, and redundancy issues.
More Blogs from Column
If we can build complex systems from simple components with precise functionality, we can more easily change those systems as new technologies arise.
A list of 10 considerations for municipalities pondering building their own broadband networks.
Communications service providers need to become digital service providers, but what exactly does that entail?
Here are some ideas for how cable operators can help low-income households connect to pay-TV and broadband services.
Once SDN and NFV are added to already complex wide area networks, management and security become even greater challenges for operators.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed