AT&T Yearns for the End of Traditional Landlines

Ryan Whitwam

The FCC recently requested comment on transitioning to a fully IP-based phone network to replace landlines. Apparently AT&T’s ears perked up upon hearing that. Good ol’ Ma Bell submitted a 32 page position to the FCC in support of the changeover . They requested the FCC eliminate the rules that require carriers to provide landline service and decide on a date to phase out the technology.

According to AT&T, the landline business is on a steep decline and is expensive for AT&T and other carriers to run. Between 2000 and 2008 the use of long distance minutes on landlines fell 42 percent. Revenues also fell 27 percent. Perhaps the best indicator that it’s time for a change is that less than one in five homes rely exclusively on landlines. AT&T asked for regulatory changes that would allow them to transition away from copper lines. Ma Bell also hinted that telecom regulations ought to be handled by the federal government and not states. While this may very well be the time to begin transitioning to new technology, AT&T provided no suggestions on how to serve those 20 percent of people that rely on landlines.

Do you think we’re ready to move away from the old, reliable copper phone line?

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