The Changing Nature of Infrastructure

Among the frequently changing infrastructure and steady flow of advances in technology over the past century or so, the underlying phone network in the U.S. has remained completely static since it was first laid. And yes, there have been new technologies that have overridden it or bypassed it entirely, but those are not what we're talking about here — what we're talking about in this article are the phone calls that still travel over POTS, Plain Old Telephone Service. We're talking about the copper wiring that Alexander Graham Bell first used when he conceived the original telephone.
The Change to Fiber Optics
They've been a long time coming, but big changes are finally afoot, at least within the next few years. Engineers are hard at work converting the PSTN infrastructure of the nation into a more modern fiber optic network that's able to move ridiculous amounts of data, and provide high-definition phone service to the public at the same time. What simplifies this process quite a bit is the fact that telecom operators have already been expanding their fiber optic networks for maximum-high-speed data and Internet transmission. Once digitized, high-definition voice is going to be just one more type of data moving along the lines, no different from any other.
One of the main pioneers and proponents of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) in the 1990s, Daniel Berninger, has already taken the helm of this project. He's started with a pilot program that involves every single one of the major carriers in the U.S. There are a significant number of volunteers involved in the program as test subjects — between 400,000 and 500,000 already. Berninger believes that number will meet or exceed 4 million by the end of next year, and up to 40 million in the year following that.
HD Phone Network
The old copper-wire traditional phone network transmits calls using a frequency range of 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz. The newly laid HD phone network (HDN) will offer a significantly wider range of frequencies, allowing transmissions in ranges as high as 7 kHz. Additionally, the HDN will support a significantly greater amount of full-duplex traffic on the network, thus enabling much faster calls for people on both ends of the call. Yet one of, if not the most tangible benefit from the upgrade will be a quantum leap forward in call quality overall. Calls that move over fiber cable alone, rather than continually being swapped from one medium to another, and back again, will no longer suffer from the noise and echo effect that have plagued telecom operators for such a long time.
Of course, wireless technology is not going anywhere. People love their mobility, and they're not about to give that up. The upgrades being spoken about in this article will affect those people still using landlines. Those that are already using mobile technology certainly have their own issues of quality and connectivity, but the backbones to mobile wireless towers is already similar to what's being spoken about in this article.
Government Regulations
Aside from putting the infrastructure in place, the only other step that's required is for the U.S. government to draw up the necessary regulations. Cooperation with law enforcement is required, access to 911 services is absolutely necessary, and of course access for the disabled cannot be ignored either. Otherwise, the public should remain largely in the dark about these changes, as they are happening under the radar. The public will only truly become aware of the changes once the fiber networks become live, and the stunning upgrades in quality are noticed by all.
About The Author
Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

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