If you’ve been on pins and needles waiting for HD voice calls to become the norm, the wait is apparently almost over. The Washington Post reports that the FCC voted to begin rolling out a trial program for fiber-optic telephone networks later this year. According to the report, phone carriers will set up the trials in designated test areas all over the U.S. as the FCC prepares for a full-scale transition to Internet Protocol networks in the future. Interestingly, that may also eventually lead to the death of traditional phone numbers.

With the trials, carriers will be able to test how emergency services will be affected by the transition, as well as how to assign new kinds of phone numbers and whether or not the IP networks could “help deliver high-speed broadband to rural America.”

“Sandbox thinking is very popular among start-ups in Silicon Valley, but why not put it to use in Washington?” said FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “Testing big ideas in a small way is a good way to understand the consequences of our policy choices and the impact on consumers before unleashing them on the world at large.”

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.