AT&T: landline phone service must die;
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
AT&T: landline phone service must die; only question is when

In the heyday of the AT&T monopoly era, the telco's legendary CEO John deButts had an acronym for the company's main product. He christened it POTS, aka Plain Old Telephone Service, delivered over Ma Bell's copper wire public switched telephone network (PSTN). A half-century later, AT&T says it's time for POTS to die, and it wants the Federal Communications Commission to schedule its funeral.

http://arstechnica.com/te...s-when.ars

Interesting. I think rural Montana is pretty far from being able to give up landlines entirely, but if they could expand cell coverage to cover all homes and up it's reliability to be on par with land lines I would be all for it.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1437) 11 years ago
It's time to go back to CB radios!
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Posted by Frank Hardy (+1607) 11 years ago



FH
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
Dan: You might want to explain to the youngsters (like Josh) what CB radio is...
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2305) 11 years ago
Hey Now, I am not THAT young... I know what a CB Radio is.. That box-thing in the cab of semi's.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1437) 11 years ago
Good old days.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
Breaker, breaker . . . . .
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Posted by Jim Birkholz (+186) 11 years ago
It will be a long time before cell phone technology is reliable enough, if ever. There are too many critical systems that rely on POTS. VOIP (internet phone service) isn't much more dependable, but might be the better alternative for low cost universal phone service. Still waiting for them to perfect communication over electric lines.
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Posted by Food Critic (+30) 11 years ago
Getting rid of land lines would mean finding an alternative not just for typical phone service, but also Internet (most dial up and DSL use some sort of phone line); emergency alarm and fire systems (they use phone lines to dial out 24/7/365); and a few other services that rely on phone lines. They're not obsolete yet and unless you can get the FCC to pay up for a replacement for rural America I don't see them going away.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1437) 11 years ago
Yah, I agree, it's not going away anytime soon. There's an irony, too, in AT&T's request considering it'd put more pressure on their wireless side communication and that's been having trouble and they're not exactly known for improving infrastructure compared to earnings.

I need a landline for business. A cellphone to cellphone call with a client is terrible. Make it long distance and that's even worse.

Having a conference call just blows it out of all proportion. There are some people that get in on conference calls with their cellphone and bring it down for everyone else. Of course, they can't leave it at that... nope, they switch their cellphone to speakerphone while others use bluetooth and pretty soon that conference call is akin to using tomato soup cans tied together with string.

Oddly, I've found Skype amongst four people to be as good, if not better, than many cell calls.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
Getting rid of POTS doesn't necessarily mean cellular. Fiber optic networks are being built all over the country for broadband and cable TV and they can do anything the old copper lines can do even better. The main issue that I see is getting the infrastructure in rural areas. You would also need to keep the cellular and fiber optic networks going during extended power outages the way that the land line telephones do now.

AT&T's point is that right now they are obligated to keep the POTS copper land lines going with 99.99% uptime even in areas where there are better options available and many people are choosing not to have a land line which means they are losing a lot of money keeping the infrastructure in good condition which they could be using to upgrade more modern (and more profitable) networks.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (1/4/2010)]
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Posted by Gail Finch Shipek (+94) 11 years ago
I work for an electric utility. If your internet/phone provider was the power company, you would not be so happy. It only takes a limb across two of the three wires to interrupt your service for at least an hour. And Levi, well, he would have to wait hours and hours.

I used to work for Pacific NW Bell as an engineer also. The issue, my guess, is that all the poles that are holding up the lines are reaching their life. Replacing a pole costs in excess of $5K not to mention the replacement of the lines. My guess for a mile would be in excess of $200K. So providing Levi with new poles and lines would cost $11,000,000.
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