AT&T says 50% of voice customers in Alabama, Florida trial cities transitioned to IP services

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AT&T began TDM-to-IP transition trials in Alabama and Florida as part of a plan to shut down its copper and TDM-based network by 2020.

AT&T is progressing with its TDM-to-IP voice service transition in two cities in Florida and Alabama, telling the FCC that on a combined basis 50% of total customer accounts have voluntarily migrated to one of the telco’s next-gen wireline and wireless voice services.

In its latest filing (PDF) with the FCC, AT&T revealed that voluntary consumer transitions to IP in Carbon Hill, Alabama, and Delray Beach, Florida, increased by 72% and 59%, respectively. As expected, consumer TDM-based services declined by 36% and 38%.

AT&T reported similar trends with business customers in these two cities. Simple IP business accounts were up 35% in Carbon Hill and 48% in Delray Beach, while simple TDM business accounts declined 28% and 25%.

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Customers who have transitioned to the next-gen IP-based services during the trial reported they have received similar service performance, service quality and customer care to that of TDM-based services.

“AT&T has made progress in achieving many of its goals for the Trials,” AT&T said in a blog post accompanying its filing. “For example, AT&T’s wire center trial activity accelerated and increased the dialogue about completing the TDM-to-IP services transition, and about AT&T’s replacement services with key stakeholders and a variety of consumer segments including persons with disabilities, as well as CLECs, utilities, businesses, and government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration.”

At the same time, AT&T grandfathered a number of TDM-based services such as Centrex and TV1-Analog Video service. The service provider said that it has not seen any reports of customer disruption.

“AT&T’s network and service quality metrics indicate that customers that voluntarily transitioned to AT&T’s alternative services during the trial continue to receive the exceptional service quality and customer care that has been historically attributed to TDM-based services,” AT&T said in the blog post.

In December, AT&T sought the FCC’s permission to discontinue 13 legacy TDM-related services in its Southwest Bell South territory, citing a lack of customer demand and use.

Earlier, AT&T asked the FCC for permission discontinue six operator services: collect calling, person-to-person calling, billed to third party, busy line verification, busy line interrupt and international directory assistance.

AT&T began the technology transition trials in Alabama and Florida as part of a broader initiative to shut down its copper and TDM-based network in 2020.

These tests were designed to give the FCC more information on permitting AT&T and other traditional telcos to stop offering traditional wireline POTS service as more residential customers migrate toward wireless and over-the-top VoIP providers like Vonage and Skype for voice service.

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