AT&T to discontinue wholesale legacy inward assistance service, cites low usage

ATT sign
AT&T says the demand for Inward Assistance has declined at a rate of about 17% per year for the last several years.

AT&T is seeking FCC approval to shut down its wholesale Inward Service, a move that reflects the service provider’s ongoing effort to shed more of its legacy service base that have migrated to IP-based solutions.

If AT&T gets the FCC’s approval, the service provider plans to stop offering the service in April 2018.

As an operator-to-operator general assistance service, Inward Assistance allows a subscribing carrier's operator to contact an AT&T operator and request dialing and/or routing information.

Blitz Week

Register for FierceTelecom Blitz Week - June 15-18

As the telecom industry moves forward in the age of new technology, FierceTelecom Blitz week addresses the questions of how platforms, providers, and more will modernize to keep up with these fast-paced changes and their current status of implementing these changes. Join us June 15-18 to dive deep into the world of telecom transformation.

In a typical service situation, an AT&T operator may provide the carrier’s operator with dialing or routing information, such as identifying a city when given only a NPA-NXX or verifying that a specific number is a coin station.

RELATED: AT&T to discontinue 2 Ethernet services due to low demand, dedicated Ethernet adoption

To subscribe to Inward Assistance a service provider must order, install and maintain inward trunks in every Local Access and Transport Area (LATA) to reach an AT&T operator for assistance.

Since the demand for Inward Assistance has declined at a rate of about 17% per year for the last several years, AT&T said that “the public convenience and necessity will not be impaired by this service discontinuance.”

Further, AT&T said it has experienced an 86.7% decline in the volume of its inward service over the last five years as more customers have taken advantage of more modern technologies and/or services to communicate such as text messaging, instant messaging, social media, and mobile calling.

AT&T said that given these usage trends, “there is little need for operator services generally, and carrier’s operators have less of a need to contact an AT&T operator for inward assistance.”

Suggested Articles

Cisco announced Thursday afternoon that it was buying network-monitoring company ThousandEyes.

AT&T Business announced on Thursday that it's offering a new broadband service for residence locations that features symmetrical speeds of 1-Gig.

It's a long way, literally and figuratively, from Leadville, Colorado to London, but Colt's new CEO, Keri Gilder, has made the transition with aplomb.