Level 3 discontinues more TDM-based voice services in Idaho and Washington, but supports hybrid environments

Level 3 has asked for the FCC's approval to shut down some more of its TDM-based voice services in Idaho and Washington, reflecting the service provider’s ongoing movement to migrate to all-IP while supporting hybrid TDM/IP service environments.

Upon getting the FCC's approval, the service provider said it would discontinue these services in the Spokane, Washington, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, metropolitan areas.

Similar to earlier service discontinuance notices it issued in markets like Portland, Oregon, Level 3 will offer affected business customers alternative services including its cloud-based voice services.

In an FCC filing, the service provider said that taking these services off the market will not harm any of the current customers that use them today. 

“The public convenience and necessity will not be adversely affected by the discontinuance of the services described herein,” Level 3 said in the filing. “Advance notice has been provided to all affected customers, giving them ample time to arrange substitute services, which are readily available and include, but are not limited to, other services offered by Applicant and its affiliate, Level 3 Communications.”

Some of the services that Level 3 is looking to discontinue are Analog PBX Trunk service, Digital PBX Trunk Service, and its VersiPak product line.

Analog PBX Trunk Service (aka Trunk Service) provides a voice-grade telephonic communications channel that can be used to place or receive one call at a time, while Digital PBX Trunk Service provides a DS1 connection between customer-provided PBX equipment or trunk-capable key systems and the Level 3 switch. Meanwhile, Level 3’s VersiPak Service Packages, VersiPak Flex T Service and VersiPak Power T services are bundled services consisting of local exchange service with select features.

News of Level 3’s request to discontinue these services comes at a time when the business community is increasingly migrating from TDM to IP and cloud-based voice services. Joining Level 3 in this transition are incumbent players like Verizon and Sprint, which have also sought permission to retire legacy voice services.

Verizon, for instance, sought the FCC's permission to stop offering postpaid calling card and personal 800 services via its MCI subsidiary in January. The service provider noted in its FCC filing that postpaid calling card service and personal 800 usage has declined "significantly."

While Level 3 is looking to discontinue more TDM-based services, the service provider understands that it needs to continue to support a hybrid environment where customers will equip some offices with IP-based services while others will continue to use a TDM-based PBX.

To aid in business customers' TDM to IP transition, Level 3 offers them its Voice Complete service, which leverages Level 3's IP network to provide SIP trunking and native PRI-ISDN (Primary Rate Interface-Integrated Services Digital Network). Given the diversity of platforms that business customers run today, Voice Complete can connect all of their locations to a single product platform over a TDM or IP-based connection.

For more:
- see the FCC filing (PDF)

Related articles:
Level 3 to discontinue some legacy TDM business voice services
Level 3 says enterprises continue to run hybrid TDM/IP-based voice networks