Coming Soon: FCC Session on Technology Transitions

The Federal Communication Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will host a session on Technology Transitions on Monday, Sept. 26 from 1:00 p.m.-2 p.m. Eastern Time, or from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m., Central Time.

According to a press release from the agency, “The nation’s telephone companies in the United States are currently upgrading the technology that delivers phone service. Existing copper lines are being replaced with fiber or wireless networks that use Internet Protocol technology . . . This session will inform consumers about how the switch from copper networks to new technologies will affect them.”

Black and white picture from a scene with Dick Van Dyke's wife on the telephone.
You’re going to do what to my telephone service? photo credit: Mary Tyler Moore, The Dick Van Dyke Show, “Empress Carlotta’s Necklace,” 1961 via photopin (license)

This session would be a bigger concern for individuals with disabilities who use telephones as part of their assistive technology for daily living.

Click here to participate online. You can submit comments and questions by emailing livequestions@fcc.gov or via @FCC’s Twitter using the hashtag #FCClive.

The session will answer the following questions:

  • What are technology transitions?
  • What do technology transitions mean for me if I have a disability?
  • After a technology transition, how do I make sure that I can make an emergency call during a power outage?

    Man is dressed in jacket and cap, working with cell phone and laptop is plugged into a wall on the boardwalk in front of the ocean.
    With new telephone changes, make sure you know when your home provider may cause a power outage while updating your current telecommunications cables. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself unplugged. photo credit: Text you down via photopin (license)

For more information, click here, or contact Anthony Butler, Consumer Education and Outreach Specialist, at Anthony.Butler@fcc.gov.

One change that will occur because of the transitions will be power outages, according to the agency’s website. Consumers may need back up power because their home phone line may not work. “Traditional landline telephone service through copper wires typically continues to work during power outages, allowing you to call 911 in an emergency. However, newer alternatives – including fiber, coaxial cable, wireless – usually need backup power, such as a battery, to keep operating.”

If your landline phone provider is going to make changes that affect your home service, they should give you advanced notice at least 30 days in advance, according to the website.

If you will be in Washington, D.C. and wish to attend the session live, send an email to techtransitionsinfo@fcc.gov by Sept. 25 so agency staff can facilitate entry into the building. Bring a current, government-issued photo ID in order to access the building. Open captions will be provided, and requests for accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

 

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