AT&T Delays Special Access Rate Changes

Shutting down the public switched network, specifically the time division multiplex network, remains a contentious issue, even though everybody agrees that the next generation network based on Internet Protocol has to be activated sooner rather than later, given the increase in stranded assets TDM now represents.

AT&T encountered customer resistance in October 2013 as it announced it would delay for about a month a planned change in special access pricing specifically pricing for legacy time division multiplex connections (T1 and DS3 lines) with contract durations of more than three years, given AT&T's announced intention to stop selling TDM special access connections entirely in 2020.

In the past, AT&T has offered seven-year contract pricing with discounts reflecting the term commitments. 

The problem is that as users move off the PSTN, the common costs of that network are growing, for the remaining customers. 

The Technical Advisory Council to the Federal Communications Commission in 2011 estimated that only six percent of the U.S. population will be using the legacy PSTN by 2018, all the rest of the users moving to next-generation IP and mobile networks.

By 2014, the United States was projected to  have fewer than 42 million TDM access lines in service, for example. 

So AT&T faces tricky issues as it prepares to shut down TDM special access, part of the wider effort to shut down the rest of the TDM network.

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