Pai: FCC Should Approve IP Transition Pilot Program

Commission Says IP Migration Inevitable as Death or Another Kardashian Reality Show
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The FCC has yet to vote on a proposal by AT&T to test the migration to an all-IP communications delivery platform, but commissioner Ajit Pai said Thursday he thinks the commission should approve it.

"The FCC has sought and received comments on a proposal to create an All-IP Pilot Program," Pai said in a speech to the Hudson Institute. "I've reviewed the record carefully. And having done so, I am proposing today that the FCC move forward with this program."

He likened the test to the Wilmington, N.C., test of the national DTV transition, or the FCC's rural health care pilot program.

Pai suggested the test was needed because the move to IP delivery was "as inevitable as death, taxes, or another reality show starring a Kardashian."

He outlined how he thinks the test should be conducted. First, it should be voluntary. Second, it should be conducted in a variety of diverse places.

He also pointed to the variety of groups and individuals who have endorsed the play, including the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Verizon, CenturyLink, the NAACP, Rainbow PUSH, and Blair Levin, architect of the FCC's National Broadband Plan.

He also said Americans are already choosing IP-enabled networks, suggesting the FCC has some catching up to do on the issue.

Pai said that one way to ease the transition would be for the FCC to close the Title II docket. "So long as [the docket] remains open," it dangles over the heads of broadband providers like the proverbial sword of Damocles, threatening to impose legacy economic regulations at a moment's notice.