As phone providers like AT&T and Verizon seek to phase out copper telephone networks in favor of fiber- and wireless-based VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, the Federal Communications Commission must consider whether to require home phones to work during power outages.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has decided what the requirement should be—carriers will have to offer 24-hour backup systems, but they’ll be able to charge consumers for the batteries.

Wheeler circulated his proposal to fellow commissioners on Friday and will put it to a vote on August 6. If it’s approved in its current form, VoIP providers will have to offer 8-hour backup systems immediately and 24-hour backups within three years.
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