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AT&T Looks to Ditch Copper with Network Trials in Florida and Alabama

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:54am
Ben Munson

AT&T today announced plans for network technology trials in parts of Florida and Alabama.

The carrier will be testing out IP network technology in the areas. The FCC will be monitoring the tests in an effort to determine if legacy copper wire networks can be decommissioned in favor of wireless and IP-based communications, according to a Bloomberg report.

"We believe all consumers and businesses deserve the opportunity to be connected by the best network technology available," Fred McCallum, President of AT&T Alabama, said in a statement. "This trial is going to help the entire country learn how to make that happen while assuring that consumers stay safe and connected."

When the FCC in January agreed to oversee such technology trials, AT&T applauded the move.

AT&T said in a blog post that “the cost of maintaining the legacy architecture, with its rapidly declining subscriber base, was unsustainable for any company.”

But as the Bloomberg report points out, a move to all-IP service would allow AT&T to get out from under federal regulations governing wireline services.

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