Telecommunication

Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via the telephone

Becoming an Internet Policy Conference: A Retrospective on TPRC

The period from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s saw the transformation of information and communication infrastructure. In the same period, TPRC evolved from a narrower focus on conventional telecommunications and information policy to “The Research Conference on Communications, Information, and Internet Policy.” Through the lens of interdisciplinary work on Internet policy and intersecting TPRC activity, this retrospective describes an arc of change that began at the 1994 TPRC and continued for about a decade.

FCC Extends Pause of Lifeline Voice Phase-Out and Mobile Data Changes

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau extended, for an additional year, the waiver pausing both the phase-out of Lifeline support for voice-only services and the increase in Lifeline minimum service standards for mobile broadband data capacity.

Telecom Italia completes $24 Billion NetCo sale to KKR

The prosecco corks were no doubt popping at Telecom Italia’s (TIM) headquarters in Rome after the operator’s relieved CEO was able to announce the completion of a long-gestated plan to sell off its fixed-line grid to the Optics BidCo consortium controlled by investment firm KKR. The sale of NetCo for up to €22 billion (U.S. $23.6 billion) also allows TIM to reduce its net financial debt by about $13.8 billion, from an adjusted net financial debt of €26.6 billion at March 31, 2024.

FCC Proposes Extending the Jurisdictional Separations Freeze

In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission  proposed to extend, for an additional six years, the jurisdictional separations category relationships and cost allocation factors freeze for rate-of-return incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs). The current freeze extension is set to expire on December 31, 2024.

Will We Ever End Legacy Telephone Networks?

Anybody not involved in the telephone business will probably be surprised to find that the old TDM telephone networks are still very much alive and in place. The old technologies were supposed to be phased out and replaced by digital technologies.

California Public Utilities Commission rejects bid by AT&T that could have decimated landline service

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has rejected a bid by AT&T to no longer be the “carrier of last resort” for phone service in California. The ruling is a win for people who still use landlines. Being a carrier of last resort requires the company to provide basic telephone service. That often means installing and maintaining old fashioned copper landlines for those who have nothing else, and the state’s biggest carrier of last resort is AT&T.

911 Outage Shows System’s Perils

The abrupt failure of Massachusetts’ 911 system on June 18 was a stark example of the disastrous consequences that can occur when an emergency network that is supposed to be reliable is, without warning, suddenly unreliable. The outage, lasting two hours, prompted a scramble among emergency agencies as they directed the public to reach out directly to the local authorities at less-familiar phone numbers or, as a last resort, go in person to their local firehouse.

911 Consolidation

Network consolidation and centralization of networks is putting our broadband and voice networks in increased jeopardy. It’s easy to understand why carriers are in favor of the savings that come from consolidation, but it’s vital that we recognize and acknowledge the increased risk that comes as a consequence of choosing efficiency over other factors. One area of particular concern is 911 network consolidation.

FCC Seeks Comment on EMPOWER's ETC Expansion Application

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) seeks comment on the petition of EMPOWER Broadband (EMPOWER) to expand its Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designated service area in Virginia.  EMPOWER seeks to expand its ETC designated service area to become eligible to receive Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Auction (Auction 903) support associated with certain census blocks (constituting complete census block groups (CGBs)) in Virginia, a subpart of an original CAF II support award authorized to RiverStreet Communications of Virginia.

FCC’s $8 Billion Phone Subsidy Survives Supreme Court Challenge

The US Supreme Court declined to question the $8 billion annual subsidy that helps cover the cost of telecom services for poor people and residents of rural areas, turning away two appeals that sought to rein in federal regulatory power.