Public Switched Telephone Network in Transition: Interconnecting Managed Packet Networks

By Jeff Nolte

October 14, 2011


The FCC continues to explore what role it should take to facilitate the transition to IP technology and how IP-to-IP interconnection arrangements for the exchange of VoIP traffic fit within existing legal and technical frameworks.

The Competitive Communications Association – COMPTEL – has urged the FCC to confirm that IP-to-IP interconnection is subject to provisions of the Communications Act.

The Act ensures that incumbent Local Exchange Carriers with stronger bargaining power than their competitors enter into good faith carrier-to-carrier negotiations for IP-to-IP interconnection.

While the big carriers are replacing their legacy circuit switches with soft switches as part of their migration to Managed Packet transport networks, they demand that smaller competitors continue to interconnect their packet networks in legacy form, which COMPTEL sees as unnecessary and discriminatory.

According to COMPTEL, the march to an all-packet, digital broadband future must soon include interconnection between these modern Managed Packet networks on non-discriminatory terms, just as interconnection and traffic exchange arrangements were needed between competitive circuit-switched networks in the past.

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