CenturyLink Plans TDM to IP Transition Trial with VoIP Providers

In a filing with the FCC on November 12, 2014, CenturyLink asked the FCC to allow it to conduct a TDM-to-IP transition trial in Las Vegas.

This trial would focus on VoIP interconnection, a topic that CenturyLink had problems with during the FCC VoIP numbering trials earlier this year.

The company plans to work with two VoIP providers to exchange traffic during the trial period: Bandwidth and Inteliquent. The proposed trial would last six months, and would allow CenturyLink to develop plans to gradually transition to an IP-based infrastructure.

According to CenturyLink’s filing, “As this transition progresses and CenturyLink reaches a critical mass of VoIP customers in a geographic area, it will make sense to begin exchanging traffic with other providers through VoIP connectivity, rather than existing TDM interconnection arrangements”

CenturyLink has asked the FCC for a declaratory ruling exempting the company from being required to offer SIP interconnection with other network operators beyond its limited plans for this trial. CenturyLink said it would not "exchange any type of local voice traffic in IP format" since "virtually all CenturyLink's residential voice customers are still served via TDM services, and the vast majority of its business customers are as well."

In February, AT&T also proposed TDM-to-IP transition trials--one in rural Carbon Hill, Ala., and the other in a metro area in Florida. However, some industry leaders, including Comptel, have criticized AT&T’s plan for not including a test of SIP interconnection between AT&T and other carriers.