updated 12:38 pm EST, Sat January 4, 2014
New plan's testing to be complete by 2020, timetable for migration unclear
AT&T has filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its plan on how it intends to test the process of upgrading the nation's telephony infrastructure to fiber-optic based, rather than copper. In its filing, the company has said that it will select markets not based on ease of transition, but as a way to learn about the process to streamline the effort in its trial phases -- which are supposed to be complete before 2020.
AT&T's Frank Simone wrote in its proposal to the FCC that "AT&T intends to select locations for the service-based experiments that represent the challenges it will face with the transition, and conduct an extensive review of the services to be impacted as part of this experiment."
The migration will shift subscribers to an complete IP-based telephone service, rather than the existing mostly-analog technology shoehorned onto the legacy copper wire which blankets most of the country. New builds by the communications giant have mostly been with fiber optics, but using the old system, rather than the new IP-based proposal.