Broadband requires FCC to modernize policies, says Genachowski

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The Federal Communications Commission announced Dec. 10 an agencywide task force to conduct a review and provide recommendations to modernize the commission's policies as the nation's broadband communications migrate from circuit-switched to packet-switched, and from copper to fiber and wireless-based networks.

In a Dec. 10 press release, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said changes to communications networks "require a hard look at many rules that were written for a different technological and market landscape."

The task force will at first led by FCC General Counsel Sean Lev, who will serve as interim director, and Associate Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau Rebekah Goodheart, who will serve as deputy director.

Among the issues to be addressed will be Internet protocol network interconnection, networks resilience, business broadband competition, and consumer protection with a particular focus on voice services.

What wasn't specifically mentioned in the FCC announcement is the whole issue of service providers migrating from time division multiplexing to IP networks. AT&T last month filed a petition with the commission requesting that the agency "open a new proceeding" concerning TDM-to-IP transition. In its petition, AT&T asked the FCC to conduct trial runs of the transition to next-generation services to help the commission "understand the technological and policy dimensions" of the migration, as well as the regulatory reforms needed to "upgrade America's broadband infrastructure."

Greg Slabodkin is a freelance reporter.

For more:
-read the FCC press release
-read AT&T Nov. 7 petition

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