From the SIP Trunking Experts

April 11, 2014

COMPTEL Discourages FCC from Approving AT&T's Experiment Proposal

By Paula Bernier Executive Editor, TMC

The Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 30 invited industry players to propose experiments related to the IP transition. AT&T, which wants to sunset its TDM facilities by 2019, recently came forward with a proposal to do such experiments in Carbon Hill, Ala., and Kings Point, Palm Beach County, Fla.

Now, COMPTEL has publicly urged the FCC not to approve AT&T’s proposed experiments without first making significant modifications.

The competitive telco association makes this suggestion, explains Angie Kronenberg, chief advocate and general counsel at COMPTEL because, “AT&T has not provided the evidence necessary to show that its trials will provide the needed insight into how the natural evolution to IP technology will address the needs of wholesale customers, as well as retail consumer and business users.”

COMPTEL added that Joseph Lenski of Edison Media Research Inc. evaluated AT&T’s proposal and concluded that the experiment (in the words of COMPTEL) “is unlikely to generate accurate and meaningful data because it does not include wire centers that encompass sufficiently diverse geographic areas, customer types, population densities and demographics, and climates; nor do they provide sufficient information on the types of data to be collected, the metrics to be used, or the control groups to be selected.”  

In an interview with TMCnet earlier this year, COMPTEL President Chip Pickering said that details about AT&T’s proposed narrow trials are thin, and provide no guidance on how to do IP interconnection.

In a panel with Pickering and other service provider leaders at COMPTEL earlier this year, AT&T Services’ Gary Ludgood, senior vice president of global network field operations, noted this trial is all about figuring out what works, and he invited the COMPTEL audience to get involved.

COMPTEL has been encouraged by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to both work with AT&T and propose its own trials, which Pickering said he’s discussing with the group’s members as well as with incumbent telcos.

For more on the future of legacy networks, regulation, and competition, check out the cover story in upcoming May issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine, a TMC publication.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi