FCC to consider new rules to ensure real consumer choice

FCC to consider new rules to ensure real consumer choice

On Friday, officials at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed that new rules will be mulled by the agency to ensure real consumer choice, at a time when copper-based networks in the country are being shifted to IP networks.

According to the information shared by the officials, a set of proposals will be put forth by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at an agency meeting scheduled to be held on November 21. The proposal will chiefly be aimed at protecting voice customers.

The official said that the FCC will not only deliberate on network-sharing rules, but will also consider the requirement of power backup systems on VoIP networks.

So far as consumer-protection proposals are concerned, the FCC - which plans to release these proposals for public comment - will reflect on rules for major telephone carriers which presently need to share their last-mile networks with rivals, mainly for the purpose of serving small-business customers.

The proposal worked out by Wheeler will apparently require the large carriers to also share their last-mile IP networks, under the same terms, conditions, and pricing as their copper infrastructure.

Meanwhile, asserting that the shift from copper infrastructure to IP-based networks is currently at a "tipping point," Wheeler said in a Friday blog post, for protecting competition, his proposal would "ensure that small- and medium- sized businesses do not have the benefits of competition yanked away from them."

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