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Sources: FCC Does Not Give Green Light to AT&T IP Test Beds

According to multiple sources, the FCC is expected to put out a public notice Friday seeking comment on the best way to gauge the impact of the transition from copper wire-based traditional telecom service to IP-based delivery, but that will not include granting AT&T's petition to start setting up test beds, which the company has argued is the best way to gauge the impact of the transition to IP.

The public notice is in response to a petition filed six months ago by AT&T that sought permission to set up all-IP test markets. The notice would not give the green light to those. Instead, according to sources, it would require AT&T or others to apply for such geographic trials, which would almost certainly mean another round of comment and is no guarantee of FCC approval.

The notice does propose collecting info on three areas, migrations to next-generation 911 service, moves from wireline to wireless service and IP interconnection as a way to gauge the impact. Telecoms argue, however, that that is not the same as collecting the comprehensive info -- and being tipped off to new issues -- that could result from new geographic tests that would go beyond those three areas.