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Monday, February 23, 2015

Welcome to NewPhoneNetwork.org

The last decade has been an exciting and important period for the ways in which we connect to one another. Since its invention, the traditional telephone voice network (also known as the TDM network) has dominated the way we communicate, but that is changing—and changing quickly!

Today, more than two-thirds of Americans are using newer technologies, products and services to communicate, and have moved away from using the traditional telephone network. And this number continues to grow every month; more than 450,000 consumers move from using plain old telephone service (POTS) over traditional TDM networks to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) or wireless services. This transition to Internet Protocol-based (IP-based) services is happening rapidly and it is important that Americans have information about this change.

Consumer Action, with support from AT&T, is proud to launch NewPhoneNetwork.org. On this site, you will find information about the Internet protocol—or IP—transition, the products and services that will be enabled by this, as well as tools and resources you can use to stay informed and find the services that best meet your needs.

Earlier this year, several providers, most notably AT&T, submitted plans to the FCC to begin trials in select geographic locations, where they will work with customers to assure that the transition from wireline TDM networks to IP-based products and services is safe and seamless for all. These trials, which the FCC will oversee, will help providers to work with customers, businesses, residents and officials in these communities to assure that, as the transition moves forward, information is shared, questions are answered and issues and concerns are addressed. While this transition is currently voluntary, these trials are designed to help gather information and put solutions in place that will help with the eventual national transition.

NewPhoneNetwork.org is designed to help you answer the questions you have about this transition. It is important that you have all the facts you need when deciding what service is right for you. While many in the country have already made the change—the percentage of households with traditional landline service is projected to drop to just 19 percent by the end of this year, compared to 44 percent five years ago—the transition presents opportunities and challenges for those who have yet to make the switch. We hope that you find this site and its resources helpful in learning more about your options in this transition.

Consumer Action is committed to empowering underrepresented consumers nationwide and we are here to help all consumers navigate the transition. We are excited about NewPhoneNetwork.org and encourage you to check the site out to learn more about how your phone system is changing to meet consumer demand for IP-based communications services.

 

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