Upgrading Our Switching Platform

We are excited to be in the process of upgrading our switching platform (the equipment that completes calls and provides services and features) with the installation of a new Metaswitch softswitch. With this new switching environment, Pioneer will start the journey from a legacy network to an all Internet Protocol (IP) network. This is important for two major reasons. First and foremost, Pioneer will be poised to provide the latest in communications technology to our members. We know that our members want to take advantage of the devices they use, whether they are land-line phones, computers or tablets, maybe gaming consoles, or even their wireless phones. When completed, the new switch will help prepare Pioneer for the eventual all IP world of tomorrow.

There is no cause for alarm regarding your current services with this evolution in technology. With the new Metaswitch infrastructure, Pioneer will be able to continue providing the legacy services that you use today and put into place the building blocks of a next-generation all IP, Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network. We believe that our new switch manufacturer sums it up quite well when they say “Telephony is no longer associated with a particular access medium or physical device: Voice is now an application.” – Metaswitch.

The second major reason is that our telecommunications industry, as a whole, is moving towards the all IP network concept. Consumer demand, Industry needs and Federal aspirations, such as those of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are among the drivers of this transition. FCC Commissioner Pai has said that the commission should “embrace the future by expediting the IP Transition” and FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, calls the IP transition a “Fourth Network Revolution.”

While there is much enthusiasm for transitioning to an all IP network, there is also plenty of regulatory work that still needs to take place before it can happen in totality. But as Lao Tzu expressed, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Like that journey of a thousand miles, our transition will take time as well. The first step of our upgrade took place in April when we upgraded our VoiceMail system. Now we are turning our attention to our main switch and beginning the process of migrating phone lines into our new Metaswitch. This migration began in December, and will continue through the first quarter of 2015. As we begin work in your area, you should receive a postcard letting you know that we will be transitioning your area over the course of the next couple of weeks. While we believe that our migration should be relatively seamless, if you experience any problems with your service, please call our customer service department and we’ll be happy to assist you.