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Carriers would be able to replace old copper wires with either fiber or wireless

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is allowing carriers like Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. to conduct trials for digital phone networks instead of the traditional analog versions. 
According to the FCC, it unanimously voted in favor of trials that test a switch from circuit-switch technology to internet protocol-based networks. But the FCC said it isn't testing the new technology itself -- since it's already in use -- but rather, it will test how consumers react to the switch, how it benefits them, how it performs in important situations, etc. 
This could certainly prove to be advantageous for consumers, especially those in rural areas that often complain about little to no connectivity when it comes to their IP-based services. 
The carriers would definitely benefit, as they'd be able to replace old copper wires with either fiber or wireless. This would mean they wouldn't have to continue investing in both old networks and new networks anymore. 

It's not clear when the trials will begin, but they will be voluntary and cover multiple areas with different topologies, weather conditions and population densities/demographics. 

AT&T is just one U.S. company that has been launching a fiber network around the states. For instance, the carrier released its U-verse all-fiber Internet network with GigaPower in Austin, Texas last month, which will deliver initial speeds of 300 megabits-per-second. According to AT&T, its new service will offer upstream speeds 20 times faster than what’s available today, and it will reportedly allow users to download a full HD movie in under two minutes. 

Google is another tech giant implementing its fiber network around the country. It has already gone live in Kansas, Utah and Texas

Source: FCC

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Another reason to keep landlines
By HoosierEngineer5 on 1/31/2014 5:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
I have never known a dedicated telephone to get a virus, or to experience a denial of service attack.

If they can get voice over Internet Protocol to be as reliable as Plain Old Telephone Service, great. We're not there yet.

By kmmatney on 2/1/2014 2:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
I use Ooma VOIP, and my experience so far with it is it is "just about" as reliable as my old landline, and lower prices and benefits far outweigh the negatives. My wife loves the voicemail being emailed to her as an MP3 file, and having 2 lines comes in handy. The community black-list is also nice for blocking spam calls. It will forward all calls to a cell phone if your internet service is down. I really have no complaints at all, and friends who have switched to it have thanked me for recommending it. There are cheaper alternatives than Ooma, but Ooma I think gives you the closest thing to a regular landline experience.

By Solandri on 2/1/2014 4:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have never known a dedicated telephone to get a virus, or to experience a denial of service attack.

Denial of service "attacks" were common on landline phones. Back when payphones were commonplace, a moderate earthquake would knock their handsets off the hook (home phones were less vulnerable because their handsets typically were on top of the hook, rather than on the side like a payphone). The result of all these phones simultaneously trying to get a dial tone was that regular callers couldn't get a dial tone (you couldn't reach your phone faster than a payphone could fall off its cradle). You'd get an all circuits are busy signal (fast busy signal). One of the things they taught us after an earthquake was if you see a phone off its hook, put it back on to clear up some lines for emergency use.

I believe one of the early hackers (phreaks, as phone hackers liked to call themselves) figured out some way to get certain phones to do this remotely. And he could trigger a DoS attack on a region by tying up all the phone lines.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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