The writing is
on the wall and the days of the wired phone in homes are coming to an
end. The FCC issued a request for comment on all-IP telephone
networks and GigaOM reports that AT&T
filed its response. The AT&T filing spanned 32 pages and
asked the FCC to remove regulatory requirements that it support a
landline network and to provide a deadline for phasing out landline
networks in the country.
The reason AT&T and other
providers are keen to get away from landlines is that the networks
are expensive to maintain. The revenue that is generated by wired
landline networks is also falling. AT&T offered some statistics
in its filing that show the decline is clearly underway. Between 2000
and 2008, total interstate and intrastate switched access minutes
fell 42%. AT&T also reports that revenue from wireless phone
service sell from $178.6 billion in 2000 to $130.8 billion in 2007, a
decrease of 27%.
At the same time, VoIP subscribers are
growing -- AT&T claims that at least 18 million homes currently
use VoIP in America. AT&T estimates that by 2010 cable companies
will be providing VoIP service to 24 million customers in
AT&T is also asking the FCC to reform the
Universal Service Fund. The FCC is already considering a reform
of the Universal Service Fund to help pay for the national
broadband infrastructure, which would tie in with the nationwide VoIP
network that AT&T wants. AT&T also wants the FCC to look at
how to handle public safety and people with disabilities on VoIP
quote: Home security systems use the phone line as it doesn't rely on electricity to be on in the home.
quote: How does this affect DSL subscriptions if AT&T totally abandons POTS? Will AT&T move to a 'wireless DSL' system? If so, this makes DSL modems obsolete, thus also forcing home networking equipment makers to, in time, abandon wired/wireless networking products within the home.
quote: DSL didn't catch on because it was, frankly, too slow. The capacity to reach higher speeds might have been there, but Cable delivered while DSL was still bragging about FT56k (Faster Than 56k).