AT&T's (NYSE: T) effort to get the Federal Communications Commission to speed the telecom industry's transition from a hybrid TDM/IP world to all-IP is, not surprisingly, not universally loved. More comments are flowing in on the telco giant's petition to the FCC to hold TDM-to-IP migration trials, with some commenters suggesting AT&T is simply trying to avoid regulatory requirements that come with its legacy infrastructure.
While the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) yesterday filed comments in support of AT&T's petition, Free Press, alternative carrier group Comptel and others have filed comments criticizing the company's efforts.
Free Press said AT&T is trying to avoid a reasonable in-depth discussion of how regulatory requirements governing interconnection, universal service and consumer rights would be protected if the FCC were to release AT&T from requirements related to supporting a legacy TDM infrastructure. AT&T's petition calls for TDM-to-IP migration trials that would allow the carrier to have IP zones in which, among other things, TDM-related regulatory obligations would not apply.
The Free Press statement read in part, "AT&T is asking the FCC to end all oversight of our nation's communications markets. The company is trying to exploit an FCC-created legal loophole: AT&T previously convinced the commission that the mere use of IP places a service outside the laws governing two-way communications networks."
Comptel said in its filed comments that if the FCC backs AT&T's petition, it will be read as a rejection of competition, competitive choice for customers and fair market pricing for interconnection and last mile access.
-here's the Free Press release
The TIA backed AT&T's petition for TDM-to-IP migrations tests
The FCC launched its Technology Transitions Policy Task Force last month