by Sarah K. Leggin
Free State Foundation
May 08, 2014
One of the most important challenges the Federal Communications Commission must confront over the next year is how to further the ongoing IP transition. The FCC took a positive step toward promoting an “all-IP future” by approving voluntary experiments testing the impact of technology transitions in January. The existing Lifeline program can be used to complement the technology transition trials by filling in service gaps where they exist and by gathering data. Running the Lifeline Broadband Pilot Program at the same time as the IP transition trials should efficiently test the impacts of the transition on low-income consumers and provide useful information regarding structuring a Lifeline Broadband Program. It would also allow providers to retire traditional communications networks and invest the savings in updating and building out networks that provide advanced services.

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