Home / Blogs

Video Recording Now Available of FCC Dec 6th Workshop on PSTN Transition

Dan York

If you missed attending or listening to the live stream of the US Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) workshop on the transition of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to new technologies that was held last week on December 6th, the FCC has very nicely made a video recording available from their website for viewing:


Given that the workshop was 4 hours long, you may or may not want to watch the entire session. The workshop was divided into four hour-long panels that consisted of brief presentations by the various panelists followed by questions to each panel from the moderator and attendees. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also appeared briefly to provide a few comments.

The order of the workshop panels is as follows (and differs from the planned agenda only in that FCC Chairman Genachowski's comments came between the first two panels):

  • The Impact of Broadband Communications on Public Safety and Network Reliability
  • Remarks by Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC
  • Disability Access in Substitute Services
  • Technical Capacity, Capabilities, and Challenges Facing Future Rural Networks
  • Identifying, Evaluating, and Transitioning Key PSTN Edge Functionalities (e.g., alarm monitoring, medical devices, and consumer equipment)

In his comments, FCC Chairman Genachowski discussed how the world is changing and moving to an IP network. He highlighted that 19% of the nation's telephone connections are already interconnected VoIP and 30% of Americans have cut the cord and moved to wireless. He spoke of the role of IP networks in unleashing innovation, contributing to job creation, education, etc. and indicated he and the commission are seeking answers to questions such as these:

  • how do we minimize consumer disruption in the move?
  • how do we ensure public safety access?
  • how do preserve and promote disability access?
  • how do we ensure ubiquitous access?
  • how do we ensure access to high quality service?
  • how do we best foster innovation?

He emphasized that the current PSTN is reliable and accessible and we don't want to lose benefits of old system. He indicated that he wants to enable the private sector to take the best benefits of PSTN and bring those into the future while taking advantage of new technologies.

The panelists in each section all saw the transition as inevitable, indicated it was already well underway and raised legitimate concerns to be considered with regard to their topic area. For instance, the sheer number of installed devices connected to the PSTN will take quite some time to change over to devices that can work with IP networks. An example was given that a standard for alarm systems over IP was only standardized within the TIA in 2007 and a similar standard for smoke alarms over IP was only standardized in 2010. It will take quite some time for devices with those standards to propagate out into commercial availability and transition options may need to be evaluated. Similarly, while the use of traditional TTY devices continues to decline, there is still a huge installed base. These TTY devices are designed to work over the PSTN and the traditional protocol used does not work well over IP. These devices will need to either be replaced or have a transition device such as a terminal adapter installed to work over IP networks.

All in all it was quite an interesting session and hopefully did provide the FCC with the type of feedback they were seeking. The second FCC workshop on the PSTN transition takes place tomorrow, December 14, 2011.

By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies - and on staff of Internet Society. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.

Related topics: Access Providers, Broadband, Internet Protocol, Net Neutrality, Policy & Regulation, Telecom, VoIP, Wireless


Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.


To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services


Sponsored by Verisign

IP Addressing

Sponsored by Avenue4 LLC

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias

Promoted Posts

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

Watch this video to discover how ACCELR/8, a transformative trading platform developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman, enables organizations to buy or sell IPv4 blocks as small as /20s. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Join Neustar's Town Hall Meeting and Help Shape the Future Of .US

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry

Dyn Partners with the Internet Systems Consortium to Host Global F-Root Nameservers

Dyn Weighs In On Whois

Influential Law Firms Have Become Early Adopters of '.law' TLD

IBCA Presentation to ICANN GAC on Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs

Domain Name .Africa Faces Hurdles - Q&A with Sophia Bekele

Afilias Partners With Internet Society to Sponsor Deploy360 ION Conference Series Through 2016

Nominum Announces Future Ready DNS

Video Interviews from ICANN 50 in London

DotConnectAfrica Delegates Attend the Kenya Internet Governance Forum

Neustar to Launch usTLD Stakeholder Council

Ofcom Benchmarking UK Broadband Performance Welcomed, But Needs Considerable Improvement

DotConnectAfrica Attends Transform Africa 2013 Summit in Rwanda

dotMobi and Digital Element Announce Strategic Partnership

How Does Dyn Deliver on Powering the Internet? By Investing in Standards Organizations Like the IETF