AT&T wants to end private line voice service in Alabama and Florida

AT&T (NYSE: T) has asked the FCC for permission to discontinue its BellSouth Analog Voice Grade Private Line services in Carbon Hill, Alabama, and in Kings Point, a suburban wire center in Palm Beach County, Florida -- two markets where the telco has been conducting TDM-to-IP transition tests.

After AT&T gets necessary regulatory approval, the service provider said in an FCC filing that it would stop offering the service in its IP-Trial wire centers on or after October 14, 2016.

The BellSouth Analog Voice Grade Private Line services are legacy TDM-based services that provide an analog channel for the transmission of asynchronous, or synchronous serial data at rates of up to 19.2, 50.0, or 230.4 Kbps. AT&T also offers optional arrangements for this service at 18.74 or 40.08 Kbps.

In wording that is similar to other requests AT&T has made to discontinue services in its BellSouth territory, the provider said in its filing that "The public convenience and necessity will not be adversely affected by the discontinuance of this service because there is no demand in the Trial Wire Centers for this service, and AT&T has other products available to serve low capacity data needs."

AT&T currently offers a number of IP-based replacement services that provide much higher transmission speeds over its copper and fiber-based infrastructure.

Among the other choices customers have in these markets are AT&T Switched Ethernet 2.0 Mbps (ASE 2.0) service and AT&T Business DSL Internet service (IPDSL) services.

ASE 2.0 Mbps service is an Ethernet transport service that offers a variety of configurations to meet customers' needs. In areas where AT&T has not built out fiber, the IPDSL service, which is a high speed internet service for small to medium businesses, allows customers to send and receive data over existing telephone lines.

This is just one of several requests AT&T has made to discontinue services, an ongoing trend large ILECs are moving upon as more of their customers migrate off TDM to IP-based services like Ethernet and VoIP.

In March, 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. Earlier, the service provider sought permission to shut down its BellSouth analog video service in Carbon Hill and Kings Point.

AT&T is hardly alone. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) petitioned the FCC for permission to stop offering postpaid calling card and personal 800 services via its MCI subsidiary, for example. 

For more:
- see the FCC filing (PDF)

Related articles:
AT&T asks FCC for permission to retire busy line verification/interrupt voice services
AT&T asks FCC to let it shut down unused BellSouth analog video service
AT&T to conduct TDM-to-IP transition tests in Alabama, Florida
AT&T responds as Wheeler sets pace for TDM to IP transition

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