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IAB Minutes 2012-03-07

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Minutes of the 2012-03-07 IAB Teleconference (Techchat)

1. Agenda-bash, administrivia, approval of minutes

1.1. Attendance

  • Bernard Aboba (IAB Chair)
  • Jari Arkko (incoming IAB)
  • Mary Barnes (IAB Executive Director)
  • Marc Blanchet (incoming IAB)
  • Ross Callon
  • Alissa Cooper
  • Spencer Dawkins
  • Mat Ford (ISOC Liaison)
  • Joel Halpern
  • Russ Housley (IETF Chair)
  • David Kessens
  • Olaf Kolkman
  • Danny McPherson
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Assistant)
  • Jon Peterson
  • Dave Thaler
  • Hannes Tschofenig
  • Richard Shockey
  • Lars Eggert (IRTF Chair)
  • Andrei Robachevsky
  • Sean Turner (IESG Liaison)

1.2. Agenda

An item on IETF 83 Planning was added under Other Business (3).

1.3. Administrivia

Cindy noted that Daylight Time (Summer Time) begins in North America on 11 March 2012. Since Summer Time does not begin in Europe until 25 March, the time for the 14 March teleconference will be shifted an hour for participants in Europe.

1.4. Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the 29 February 2012 business meeting were approved.

2. Tech Chat: The End of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)

Richard Shockey led a discussion on issues with the end of POTS and the conversion from TDM/SS7 to SIP/IMS.

The FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC) report notes that 25% of consumers in the United States aged 18 or older have already given up POTS lines, and estimates that by 2018, only 6 percent of US households will still subscribe to POTS. As the number of subscribers drops, revenue for service providers goes down, and costs/subscriber increase. At some point, maintaining POTS will no longer be viable. The FCC TAC has recommended setting a “date certain” for the shutdown of POTS in the US, with a target date of 2018.

Note: the TAC materials talk about “PSTN” in situations where they appear to be referring only to POTS. If we think of “PSTN” as the ability to reach an E.164 number, then “shutdown of the PSTN” may take a very long time, so this is by no means the same thing as “shutdown of POTS”.

Bernard asked if the discussion is indeed about turning off POTS entirely, or merely removing the regulatory requirements related to POTS. Richard replied that the incumbent carriers would like to remove as many of the regulatory issues as possible, but that issues with the end of POTS must be separated from issues with the PSTN.

It should be understood that shutdown of POTS requires significant advance planning. In particular, it is necessary to understand how services provided by POTS (including 911, FAX, TTY/TDD access for the disabled, etc.) will be provided over IP. For example, for “POTS shutdown” in 2018 to be viable, NG911 would need to be fully deployed, with access for the disabled.

Since the transition has broad implications for E911 and emergency services, regulators are taking aggressive action on IP-based emergency services. For example, within the US, the FCC has issued the NG911 NPRM, which explores both the long term plan for deployment of NG911, as well as short and long term issues relating to accessibility.

Some jurisdictions have Service Provider Identification Codes (SPID) within their national numbering databases to provide an alternative method of identifying the terminating provider of record for an E.164 number, but there is no internationally recognized standard. Some international carriers have discussed the idea of a global SPID that would be managed by the RIRs.

Some of the issues related to the transition away from POTS may end up being worked on in the IETF. Unfortunately, many of the service providers who will be affected by the transition away from POTS do not currently participate in the IETF. Russ stressed that if this work was to come to the IETF, then all of the stakeholders must be involved in the discussion. Work related to this effort has been proposed in the DISPATCH working group and the newly-proposed INtermediary-safe SIP session ID (insipid) working group. Richard briefly mentioned the idea of creating an End of POTS directorate, but decided to reserve judgement. As this effort will likely involve cross-Area work in the IETF, the board agreed to raise the subject with the IESG at the joint meeting in Paris on Sunday, 25 March 2012.

Further reading:

3. Other Business

Bernard directed the board to the IETF 83 schedule page on the wiki, and asked board members to fill in meetings as details become available. Bernard asked that all board members plan to attend the Administrative Plenary on Wednesday evening.

Cindy reported that the BOF signup page has been made available on the wiki. Marc asked if there is a way to set up email notifications for changes to wiki pages; Mary replied that she is looking into this.