End of the Copper Line

I am concerned about the abolishment of reliable, mechanical, communication when it comes to “plain old telephone service” — POTS — and the future of voice and data communication.

Hurricane Sandy has shoved forward the end of the copper telephone line.  Big communication companies have decided it is in their best interest to push people onto cellular networks instead of rebuilding what was lost:  Traditional “communication by wireline” that has been a staple of everyday communication in the USA for almost a hundred years.

The changing landscape has Verizon, AT&T and other phone companies itching to rid themselves of the cost of maintaining their vast copper-wire networks and instead offer wireless and fiber-optic lines like FiOS and U-verse, even though the new services often fail during a blackout.

“The vision I have is we are going into the copper plant areas and every place we have FiOS, we are going to kill the copper,” Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon’s chairman and chief executive, said last year. Robert W. Quinn Jr., AT&T’s senior vice president for federal regulatory issues, said the death of the old network was inevitable. “We’re scavenging for replacement parts to be able to fix the stuff when it breaks,” he said at an industry conference in Maryland last week. “That’s why it’s going to happen.”

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