At its December 12, 2013, Open Meeting, the FCC received a presentation from its Technology Transitions Policy Task Force. The Task Force said its immediate goal is to understand the impact of technology transitions, including the transition to an all-IP network, on consumers through diverse experiments and open-data initiatives. The Task Force said it is working toward an Order for consideration by the FCC in January that would:
- Invite, on a rolling basis, service-based experiments with short timelines for submission, establish criteria for experiments that focus on the impact on consumers, and create a speedy process for public comment and FCC evaluation
- Recommend FCC actions to support targeted experiments and research
- Describe structured observations and data collection initiatives
- Establish a timeline for the adoption of a managerial framework to resolve the important legal/policy questions raised by the technology transitions
In a Statement issued after the meeting, Chairman Wheeler provided additional insight into the anticipated Order, saying in part:
“The key will be establishing the right criteria and conditions for any experiment. What conditions must be met before the Commission could approve an experiment? What are the questions we would ask about how an experiment should be run or measured?…The process will provide for prompt submission of proposals and clear timeframes for seeking comment, Commission review and action. People thinking of experiments and those that want to comment on them should be prepared to move quickly. There is no time for any of us to waste.”
Also at its meeting, the FCC adopted rules to help ensure that calls to 911 are delivered during disasters. The rules will require 911 service providers to take reasonable measures to provide reliable and resilient 911 service. The FCC also amended its rules to give 911 service providers deadlines and other more specific requirements for notifying 911 call centers of outages.
According to the FCC’s News Release, the rules require service providers to certify, on an annual basis, that they have either implemented industry-backed best practices specified in the Order or taken alternative measures that are reasonably sufficient in light of the provider’s particular facts and circumstances to ensure reliable 911 service, so long as they briefly describe such measures and provide supporting documentation to the FCC. Similarly, service providers may respond by demonstrating that a particular certification element is not applicable to their networks, but they must include a brief explanation of why the element does not apply. The best practices cover three core areas: auditing 911 circuits for physical diversity, maintaining central office backup power, and maintaining reliable and resilient network monitoring systems.
The FCC will review the rules in five years to determine whether they are still technologically appropriate, adequate, and necessary. TMI Bulletin subscribers, watch for TMI Bulletin.
See TMI article The Transition of the PSTN to IP Technology from guest blogger, David Malfara, dated 10/15/13