FCC Needs To Step Up On Voice Link; Nature (and Natural Disasters) Abhor A Vacuum | Tales of the Sausage Factory

See on Scoop.itBad News – What You Don’t Want To Hear

According to this report from Stop the Cap, Federal Communication Commission (FCC) line staff are telling your average citizen who calls to ask that Verizon can refuse to repair their copper lines as long as Verizon offers Voice Link instead. “It is acceptable” for Verizon to refuse to offer copper service even if “there will be no landlines” available at all, said FCC Representative TSR54. (And no, I did not make up the designation just to make this look more like some faceless bureaucratic drone.)

 

Did I miss the FCC Order on this? No.  But the fact that FCC line staff are taking it upon themselves to say this is totally O.K. shows just how badly the FCC has lost control of the situation. The FCC needs to move quickly to (a) makes Verizon file the necessary application under federal law to discontinue its traditional copper service so the FCC can actually decide this question for real; and, (b) develop a process for carriers in areas where disasters have destroyed copper infrastructure to replace that infrastructure with a new product like Voice Link or voice-over-IP (VOIP). Otherwise, we can forget about having any kind of useful pilot program where we protect consumers and gather information.  Carriers will take the Verizon approach, and convert natural disasters into “nature’s little laboratories.”

 

After all, nature abhors a vacum — whether in space or in policy. If the FCC continues to let Verizon decide on the proper policy for itself, we can expect other carriers to stop playing by the FCC’s rules and follow in Verizon’s footsteps.

 

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See on tales-of-the-sausage-factory.wetmachine.com

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