While companies like Verizon and AT&T (News - Alert) are always looking to expand the areas in which they specialize, they are at their cores still telephone companies. That is why the news that the FCC (News - Alert) has approved testing of digital phone lines was welcomed by those and other firms that are trying to phase out analog phone networks. The announcement that trials will be able to move forward is the latest step in companies moving towards a digital lifestyle for everyone in the United States.
The move means that AT&T, which is rolling out dark fiber in various parts of the country will be able to actually start phasing out any phone network that isn’t IP based in the very near future. The important thing to keep in mind from the FCC’s point of view, is that the companies are not going to be testing new technology. IP based phone networks have been around for quite a while.
The testing that these companies can now begin in earnest is how customers adapt to the change. This means that AT&T and Verizon (News - Alert) will be focusing their testing more on how a community adapts to working on IP phones, especially when things like their television and Internet are interconnected through one dark fiber network.
The testing also means that rural areas that currently complain about spotty coverage when it comes to IP-based services should be getting better service and more coverage. The carriers benefit because they get to rip up their old copper wire and replace them with fiber or wireless networks. It also means that investments can lean heavily towards new networks. Keeping some of the old networks running using copper filaments can be incredibly costly.
This also means that AT&T will be able to compete with firms like Google (News - Alert) who are starting from scratch when it comes to laying their networks. Those phone companies can now spend more time on the future and less trying to keep the past up and running.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker