Dissent brewing as national transition to VoIP under consideration

VoIP calls are becoming the predominant form of communication in many homes and businesses, leaving telecoms to try and develop strategies to improve their VoIP capabilities to support consumer demand. AT&T is among the telecoms leading this charge, but the company is not getting along particularly well with the Federal Communications Commission as the nation tries to figure out the best way to shut down the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) and turn on the all-VoIP future, Forbes reported.

AT&T hoping to accelerate innovation
In November 2012, AT&T announced a multi faceted plan to put more money into VoIP and shut down its PSTN by 2015. This represented a major step forward for the company, and as such, it turned to the FCC for some help. The news source explained that during the same month, AT&T formally documented a request with the FCC to have the commission develop a VoIP pilot project that would allow the FCC to develop regulations and standards for an all-VoIP telecom future. AT&T's goal was to have the FCC perform this trial and realize that traditional public telephone regulations would not be applicable in an IP-dominated climate and deal with the policy and technological changes needed to support PSTN shutdowns.

Six months later, the FCC replied to AT&T's petition by asking other industry stakeholders to provide any feedback on the issue. This response covered both the technological and policy-related concerns that AT&T brought up and left the telecom less than pleased. According to Forbes, an AT&T company blog post explained that the telecom was not happy with how the FCC is responding.

"[AT&AT is] disappointed that the FCC still appears tentative about dealing with the IP transition," Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, wrote in the blog post. "We are puzzled it took the FCC six months to decide it needed such information. We also believe that further delays by the FCC in moving such trials, which they themselves would control, creates more investment uncertainty."

Enabling VoIP innovation
While telecoms may still lack FCC assistance to get their VoIP projects going, having the right technology in place can help them put the infrastructure they need in place. Advanced VoIP gateways, in particular, can prove essential in helping telecoms replace their PSTN infrastructure with IP-based systems. High-performance VoIP gateways can prove instrumental in helping telecoms handle a large volume of VoIP customers without having to sacrifice performance.