benton's blog


Who Will Bring Broadband to Everyone?

No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.
-- President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address


Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Innovation

For consumers, the promise of the IP transition is new services and ways to collaborate and communicate that are better and more advanced than current basic telephone communications. High-quality networks across the country will ensure that people in all communities have the ability to create, invent, and use products and services that can enhance our world. Broad access to high speed IP networks is essential to making sure technology continues to evolve.


Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Speed

Consumers need fast networks that allow them access to, and choice of, a full range of services to meet their needs.

In replacing the public switched telephone network (PSTN), consumers need truly high speed networks with low-latency and jitter so that these networks are capable of fully supporting legacy PSTN services like faxing, modems, and text telephone (TTY) services that are sensitive to network quality.


Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Robustness and Resiliency

To ensure public safety, consumers need to be able to rely on networks in emergencies. The universal service concept has, perhaps, most frequently been promoted as a way to ensure that all Americans have a way to contact the authorities in the event of an emergency to preserve life and limb. And, so, when it comes to using the telephone or any telecommunications service, a basic question is whether it will work.


Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Trustworthiness

As technology moves forward, consumers must retain key protections that ensure a fair and safe experience. This includes, but is not limited to, consumer protections like privacy, truth-in-billing, blocking unwanted solicitation and preventing cramming and slamming. Consumer protections are largely seen as being built into traditional telephone networks. Will they continue as we transition to broadband networks?


Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Interconnection

Regulators must ensure that competing network providers are able to interconnect in areas where there is legacy market power. Subscribers must be able to reach subscribers on any other network. In U.S. telecommunications law, interconnection is defined as “the linking of two networks for the mutual exchange of traffic.”

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The Five Questions

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What is the right thing to do?


Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Competition

Policies should encourage new entrants into the emerging IP-enabled network market. One of the core tenants of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has been that competition enables consumers to benefit from lower prices, new services, new investment, and more innovation. In the National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said, “Competition is crucial for promoting consumer welfare and spurring innovation and investment in broadband access networks.