Level 3 to discontinue some legacy TDM business voice services

Level 3 Communications has asked for the FCC's permission to shut down a number of its legacy voice services in Portland, Oregon, signaling a desire to advance its IP-based cloud services strategy.

If the FCC approves Level 3's request, the service provider said that these services will be disconnected on or after Aug. 25, 2016.

Level 3 told users affected by this change that it would work with them to find an IP-based replacement service.

"In order to maintain continuous service at your location following the proposed discontinuance, Level 3 would like to work with you to migrate your existing service to our next-generation, state of-the-art platform that will provide your business with greater flexibility, simplicity, and efficiency," Level 3 said in a letter to customers in the Portland area.

The service provider said in a FCC filing that taking these services off the market will not harm any of the current customers that use them today. 

Among some of the services that Level 3 is looking to discontinue are Analog PBX Trunk service and Digital PBX Trunk Service.

Analog PBX Trunk Service provides a voice-grade telephonic communications channel that can be used to place or receive one call at a time while Digital PBX Trunk Service provides a DS1 connection between customer-provided PBX equipment or trunk capable key systems and the company switch.

As more business and consumer customers migrate to IP and cloud-based services, service providers like Level 3 and large service providers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Sprint (NYSE: S) have been seeking permission to retire legacy voice services.

Verizon, for instance, sought the FCC's permission to stop offering postpaid calling card and personal 800 services offered via its MCI subsidiary in January. The service provider noted in its FCC filing how postpaid calling card service and personal 800 usage has declined "significantly."

No less important is Sprint's request to shut down its long-distance voice network. Although Sprint emerged as a sound competitor in the long-distance voice market in the mid-1980s following the breakup of the Bell System, the service provider's customers have continually dropped wireline long-distance voice for either VoIP services from providers such as Vonage or use wireless as their primary voice platform.

For more:
- see this FCC filing (PDF)

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This article's headline was updated to say "some" TDM services on June 13.