FCC Moves IP Transition Forward

On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order establishing a budget and a methodology for selecting winning applications for the Connect America rural broadband experiments adopted by the Commission in its 2014 Technology Transitions Order. The following may be attributed to Benton Foundation Director of Policy Amina Fazlullah:

Today the Federal Communications Commission took another important step in modernizing the nation’s phone network. As the public switched telephone network makes a complex transition to Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled networks, regulators must protect the nation’s core values to ensure the newest technologies benefit all Americans. Universal service, consumer protection, competition, and access to emergency services must be part of communications networks whether they be copper, fiber, or wireless. The FCC’s experiments to bring broadband to rural areas are needed and welcomed.

In December 2013, the Benton Foundation released The New Network Compact: Making the IP Transition Work for Vulnerable Communities which highlights the concerns of vulnerable communities as the nation navigates this transition. The nation must remain committed to guaranteeing that all Americans will have access to communications networks that are: 1) fairly priced; 2) offer a high quality of service with the capability of running essential applications; and 3) allow people -- regardless of age, ability, location, or economic status -- the chance to receive, develop and share content as well as use and create new technologies.