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VoIP And Cell Phones Eroding Traditional Telecoms

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the one-way-function dept.

Communications 390

Lullabye_Muse writes "Yahoo! reports that telecoms in Europe and U.S. are losing in response to people switching their home phones for cellphones and dial up to cable modems. More info on specific VoIP discussed in latter part of article. The trend seems to becoming widespread, I guess 10 years and all the old wires are gonna start to be taken down."

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A land-line...? (5, Interesting)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074457)

"We saw what would happen with Voice over Internet Protocol. Rather than allow it to happen to us, we decided to embrace the technology," a BT spokesman said.
Smart move. The discount carriers are going to ramp-up competition, and this can only be good for us, the good ol' consumer. One of these days, VoIP will come to mobile, and that will be another milestone; we'll see how the big carriers respond to that.

I still keep my land-line operational, though... I'm beginning to wonder why.

Re:A land-line...? (2, Funny)

fishbert42 (588754) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074466)

I, for one, embrace our new, technology overl... eh, fuck it.

Re:A land-line...? (5, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074481)

I still keep my land-line operational, though... I'm beginning to wonder why. Well, it's not really a bad idea considering that your landline is the most reliable. It'll work during bad weather, and it'll work during a power outage, or when your ISP is being neglegent and your connection is down.

Re:A land-line...? (2, Interesting)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074526)

It'll work during bad weather
Dammit, I shouldn't have purchased that fancy 2.4GHz cordless piece of crap. Besides, it interferes w/my 802.11g and--you make a good point--doesn't provide me any extra reliability.

Re:A land-line...? (3, Informative)

tarogue (84626) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074604)

That's because you're using wireless. The key idea behind "land-line" is the "line". I have cordless phones for the mobility, but I will always keep a wired phone as insurance.

Re:A land-line...? (4, Informative)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074742)

Is it just me or do virtually ALL newer cordless phones suck? The best one I've ever had was a 900 MHz phone I bought about 7 years ago for $30. Except for needing a new battery a couple of times, it has never had any problems and still sounds great. I couldn't say the same for any newer models that cost a lot more.

Re:A land-line...? (1)

tdemark (512406) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074578)

Well, it's not really a bad idea considering that your landline is the most reliable.

The absolute minimum I can pay Verizon for a line is $12.87 + tax + fees per month (which means it's actually over $15 / mo).

Frankly, it doesn't seem right have to pay $180 / yr for a residential line that I would only use in an emergency. And, no, there is no such thing as a "911-only" line - at least that's what the Verizon salesperson told me.

On the other hand, in an emergency, $180 probably wouldn't seem like much...

- Tony

Re:A land-line...? (1)

halowolf (692775) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074649)

An XBOX and XBOX Live can be used to chat to people. Its hardly the be all and end all of VOIP communication, and you are kind of stuck with needing some big cumbersome equipment, but still its cheaper than telephoning those people on the otherside of the country (when you heartily ignore the infrastructure costs into setting up an XBOX on XBOX Live) :) I look at it as a perk to something I wanted anyway for entertainment purposes. Besides my ADSL is used for far more than XBOX Live :)

I hardly ever use my landline for anything now except ADSL and the odd local phone call, and its free message bank facility.

Mary-Kate Olsen, 1986 - 2004 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074488)

She died as she lived: Munching her twin's slit.

Re:A land-line...? (1)

z3021017 (806883) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074495)

I still keep my land-line operational, though... I'm beginning to wonder why.

Just in case there is a blackout which knocks out your computer, you can (usually) still communicate with your phoneline - it's always good to have a backup!

Re:A land-line...? (4, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074554)

I still have a land line... it's just through the cable instead of POTS.

We've been using roadrunner's digital phone service since day 1. $30ish for anywhere, anytime, no LD. Call waiting, etc.

We've had no problems with service until the last week. The cable/VoIP modem start cycling and trying to readjust over and over.

The guy came out and changed the modems. He said that it is very, very common.

So if you start losing VoIP service and your modem starts cycling... be quick to report it so they can change out your device.

I can blast huge torrents over suprnova and talk on the phone at the same time without any problems. I've been very impressed with the bandwidth... In fact, my impression is that my bandwidth greatly improved when they switched me over to VoIP. I imagine they uncap the bandwidth when you get digital phone service so insure both services work well together.


Re:A land-line...? (1)

racermd (314140) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074559)

I keep my land-line going, too. I even use their Voicemail service instead of a physical answering maching at my home, though long-distance has been declined due to the less expensive service I get via my mobile phone. But I use the land-line mainly as a point of reference and emergency.

Most creditors like to have a land-line number attached to our contact information as it's *generally* less frequently changed (only changes when you move, usually).

Also, if my cell battery dies, or the mobile phone itself dies, I still have a way to make a phone call if I needed to.

As for additional services, I use my cable-provider's internet services and I won't look back. I looked at DSL, but the price/bandwidth ratio favors the cable company for my "consumer" needs.

If the local phone company were to offer something more compelling than just POTS and DSL, I'd be a bit more interested in sending them my money instead of the local cable company and my mobile carrier. I dunno - Something like FTTH would be nice... Too bad I don't live in Verizon's service area.

Re:A land-line...? (2, Informative)

roche (135922) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074596)

"I still keep my land-line operational, though... I'm beginning to wonder why"

I will never get rid of mine until they develop a system where 911 can determine my location instantly in a emergency.

Also, what are you going to do when the power goes out? My landline still works with no power.

Re:A land-line...? (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074661)

? My landline still works with no power.
As long as your teleco still has power. In my area (Maine), when I lose power so does my teleco (after a while).

However, now that I have VoIP, a cheap UPS means I have several hours worth of backup. In the future I can see various VoIP devices having built in battery backups.. that's hardly cost anythng.

Re:A land-line...? (1)

thenightisdark (738700) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074678)

"Also, what are you going to do when the power goes out? My landline still works with no power."
Uh, not make phone calls? :-)

Re:A land-line...? (1)

imperialstormtrooper (758868) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074706)

local carriers have backup generators in case of power away as long as your phone does not require batteries (like a cordless phone)

Re:A land-line...? (1)

crackshoe (751995) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074766)

my cordless phone ( a sony, it hink) keeps a spare battery charging, so you can quickly swap to a fully charged battery. in event of a power outtage, the cordless still works, since its powered by the spare phone battery (for a while, anyway)

Oh well... (2, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074462)

Can't say I am sorry for the companies that were once monopolies to finaly die.

Re:Oh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074562)

They won't ALL die. Sure, some will, and some wont. Those that die are those that fail to embrace new technology, and those that do survive, will be those that realize the new potential and will eventually charge us up the ass for it once all the smaller companies have been bought out.

Corporate Darwinism.

Re:Oh well... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074573)

Who controls the backbone?


Monopolies are not all bad (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074582)

... so long as they are benevolent. For widespread rollout of utilities, a monopoly works very well if they are not so profit oriented. It takes a lot of money and long-term thinking to roll out copper, especially to out-lying areas etc. A hard-assed quarter-by-quarter driven company would continue to look for the best profit which does not necessarily mean taking the technology to the people.

Of course there comes a time when the monopoly no longer makes and it will fade out. Most customers will benefit but soome (eg. less profitable customers in outlying areas) will lose out.

Re:Oh well... (1)

slash-tard (689130) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074607)

They arent going to die. Some sell cellular service (verizon, cingular), others are trying to move into new markets. Qwest is selling calble over some form of DSL.

Dont forget how much value the lines have, they get local loop charges for almost every business that orders a frame relay or internet circuit.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074748)

Have you people even THOUGHT about what will happen if/when the telcos die? Who do you think all those broadband connections and OC-12 links run over? That's right..the PHONE COMPANY! Let me explain this...very slow so you 802.11 groupies can understand it: no traditional voice customers = no universal services fees = nobody to pull the wires needed to run all this stuff. Any questions?

DSL (3, Interesting)

hlopez (220083) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074464)

Wire will never bbe taken down, since they are the major source of broadband. Here in Mexico Telmex the only real tephone company has invested heavely on DSL and cable modems are virtually a thing of the past.

Good (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074465)

Let the telcoms die. I haven't had a land-line phome for 6 months, and I don't miss it.

Of course, cell-phone coverage could be bett--

Time: 2:10

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074535)

I took you 2 minutes 10 seconds to say that?

Re:Good (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074571)

Of course, he had to keep repeating himself ...


Never (4, Insightful)

gotpaint32 (728082) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074469)

Never will copper be phased out by wireless, the old telcos may lose dominance, but until the reliability is there (powerouts, national emergencies, etc), most simply won't switch over to a fully landline free solution.

I hope you're right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074541)

I was going to post a comment about how it's bad if the land-lines die. If they do, the traditional telecoms will set their sight fully on VOIP and turn that into an expensive over-taxed product. Right now I get along fine with a cheap VoIP and cellphone plan combo, and I don't have to pay extra for my name NOT being listed or for moving to a new home.

So I hope you're right. I hope a lot of people are pessimistic enough that they will keep their land-lines and keep feeding the old telecom bosses so I can have my "non-traditional" services for a reasonable price with reasonable customer service.

besides, cell phones are $$ to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074601)

You cn't tell me that a cell phone is cheaper than a land line phone, how many people have a flat rate use plan for their cell phone, most of the time I am waiting for my friends cells be be availible, what, after 7 or 8 PM at night?? funny thing, is that my land line tellco phone, I can use any time day/night without worrying about if my free-time is now, or else I'm paying mucho $$/min to send a call...I can't see cell phones getting any cheaper, after all, didn't california bring in the cell-phone contract truth bill because cell phone companies were ripping people off so much!

Re:Never (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074616)

I don't think wireless can successfully replace copper, but coax and fiber most certainly can. I don't think the landline will go away completely, but there's not much reason to use unshielded twisted pairs that have been installed outdoors decades ago when we now have better technologies available.

Re:Never (4, Informative)

flithm (756019) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074732)

I just canceled my local service and signed up for Primus' TalkBroadband Service [] . It's considerably cheaper than the regular land line, and the quality is pretty close.

I too was initially worried about emergency services and so forth, however all this stuff functions as normal with a regular land line. I can call 911, or 411 or whatever just like anybody else can. In the event of a power-outage you can have your service forward to a cell-phone, voice-mail, or even another regular land phone. So I'm really not that worried about it. In the event that the power goes out and the cell phone is dead, and I accidentally cut off my leg, thus disabling me from crawling to my neighbors house to use their land phone to call 911, I suppose I'll just have to suffer :o).

Seriously though, here's my experience so far:

The Good


Works with regular phones, and it actually works pretty good.

Says #$&@ you to the local @*&!@ telco monopoly.

The Bad

Can't use your regular house phone jacks (although if you need a phone in every room you can get one of those multi-set cordless base phones).

The service isn't perfect. (A couple of times someone has called, and before I could pick it up, the system hung up on them). But let's be realistic, this is pretty new technology.

All in all, I'm happy I decided to try out the VoIP phone. It saves me $10-15 / month, and lets me call way more long distance to boot. And I'm a no frills user. No calling features, no call display, I don't really call long distance. For someone who has a big calling feature pack and calls long distance, I could see a VoIP phone saving them a TON of cash.

frist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074470)

bill frist

But... (1)

Demanche (587815) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074473)

There will always be a need for traditional teleco Until cell phone companies lower their prices to land line levels.. and the majrity of cell phone companies also operate land lines.. so they arn't losing money in all areas.

Re:But... (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074574)

There will always be a need for traditional teleco Until cell phone companies lower their prices to land line levels...
I use Vonage, and one of the reasons is that it's much cheaper than telco service.

Landlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074592)

The Internet was designed to use landlines in case of a major nuclear exchange, and wireless technologies will NOT be able to replace them in the event of nuclear stupidity. Why? Well the radio spectrum can be JAMMED and disrupted. To eliminate the landlines would render wireless communications useless anyway. Why, well because to destroy all the landlines would not leave enough of humanity to chat with anyway. Plus the power generation facillities would also have been targeted. Duh!

Re:But... (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074595)

I don't know about that. Everybody I know has a cell phone now, and a cell phone is cheaper than a cell phone and a land line.

Re:But... (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074615)

In 10 years I hope that Verizon will have rolled out its fiber optic network to all it's customers. I think by that time they also should be offering telephone, internet and television on that cable all for about $90 a month. I may be wrong but I do not think any wireless service will be able to come close to the speed and reliability of a fiber optic cable. I also hope that we will have fuel cell generators so that we can totally eliminate all chance of lightning destroying our electronic equipment.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074636)

Let's see.

Land line. Advertised at $12. Cheapest possible plan. Several hours of allowed usage I never use. No long distance. Crappy service. Despise dealing with monopoly that's screwed me over in the past.

Actual cost: $35. And rising.

Cell phone. Advertised at $30. Cheapest possible plan. Several hours of allowed usage I never use. Long distance free. Apartment in the middle of the city gets barely any signal (unless I step outside. What'd they do, line the drywall with lead?), but works fine otherwise. Haven't been screwed over yet, but there's alternatives if I am. Free internet access by cellular is neat, even it's at 14.4k

Actual cost: $39.

So it's less sucky (but still sucky) and costs about the same. That was a pretty easy decision.

the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074474)

I hear they have it on computers now.

Pie (1)

SillyRabbit999 (803794) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074476)

I think it's great that some of the smaller or less popular companies are getting in the game and getting a slice of the pie, instead of the huge corporate companies whoring it all. -rabbit

No need for a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074478)

Just head over to
Free, fun, and semi anonymous.

on the other hand it makes you feel bad, similar to when you park in a handicap space, play demo derby with the free hospital wheelchairs, or ride the handicap elevator for fun over and over and...

College freshmen (2, Informative)

MDFedderly (789643) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074479)

I'm about to move into college, and I for one don't plan on using the landline telephone. I know my cellphone gets good coverage all over the campus. Perhaps many other people are doing the same? As far as I know, the pricing is comparable, but the cell phone is much more portable. Maybe people moving into college are starting to realize this, and the same with first time house (and apartment) buyers.

Wires taken down? Dont think so. (2, Insightful)

uncl_bob (529354) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074486)

Rewiring all buildings to optical fibers or ethernet is just too damn costly, especially since ADSL (or its future cousins) is cheap and works.

Cost (2, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074487)

Well I can get a cell phone for as much as my monthly landline service. Why would I bother with a fixed line?

Add in the fee to get connected, if you move a lot you can save hundreds by having a cell phone.

Currently the long distance plan I have, it doesn't yet make sense to switch to a cell phone.

Re:Cost (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074753)

Well I can get a cell phone for as much as my monthly landline service. Why would I bother with a fixed line?

Well for a start, I can be reasonably confident that I can pick up my phone and get a dial tone, whatever the atmospheric conditions. With my mobile, reception is patchy at best throughout the house, and is significantly affected by the weather. Plus I can't run ADSL over my mobile, unlike my fixed phone line.

Cringley (2, Interesting)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074489)

In the mean time Robert X Cringley thinks that they should turn the old lines into video streaming conduits [] for on-demand programming.

Seems like a good idea, but there is no way the telcos could sit down and think of doing that. They just aren't that innovative. Otherwise, they'd have been on VoIP awhile ago.

Sounds like a great idea... (1)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074646)

but what about the overall quality of the video? If I understand what he's saying, then a lot of the image quality is degraded on elements that don't make up the visual priorty. Just knowing that, many people are going to be watching the video just looking to see how badly degraded the non-priority items are. And secondly, I'd have to wonder how distracting it is because your eyes might still perceive that you aren't seeing a complete image.

I like reading Cringely, but doesn't it seem like most of the cool tech he talks up never sees the light of day?

An Anchor is not a good thing (1)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074493)

The wired connection does not really have a future for audio-only phone. With cell/VoIP lowering their costs, they become a viable complete replacement, with the added benefit of mobility.

The traditional phone companies will have to add more hi-speed connections, maybe integrated with other services to survive.

I plan to switch to a VoIP provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074494)

I've been meaning to do it for a long time but I have been putting it off. I was going to do it today but I spend the evening jerking off my dog instead, heh. Maybe tomorrow.

Surprise surprise. (5, Insightful)

cbiffle (211614) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074501)

Because, if there's any industry that's bent over backwards to inspire customer loyalty, it's the telecoms. ...

Yet another example of innovation sweeping the market out from under an industry that's too busy screwing its consumers to notice.

Re:Surprise surprise. (2)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074743)

Huh? I havn't had a land line in almost a year, but I remember when I did that every long distance company under the sun was calling me to "switch and save" on my long distance. I would ask them if their long distance was less than my calling card at 3 or so cents a minute with no monthly charge and they would say "no", but they were always willing to take my money anyway.

Phones are a scam. It kills me that people are willing to pay $50 to more dollars a month for the things. To me its only worth about $10 or so. I don't pay anything for a phone, and I have no ambition to do so (my work pays for my only phone, a cell).

Being that the now "old" phone companies (and cable companies) are into the internet thing now by providing the fiber for the internet, I just wonder when they are just going to start overcharging for a "data" line to your house? I guess they will put that off as long as they can because now they can overcharge people for 3 services now -- cell, land line, and internet.

I hate phones.

Makes sense to me (3, Informative)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074505)

Currently, I don't have a traditional wired phone at the house. There isn't much of a need since everyone at the house has a cell pone.

For me, my job requires a mobile phone and they pay the bill. I'm not even home often enough to worry about having a land line.

I would have gotten one anyway, just for the security, but the phone company wants $80~ (US) to simply turn the bastard on.

Now, if the telecom industry was to try to lure me back, it would simply be with affordability.

I'm not even going to start on all the things I hate about the telecom service, but whats with charging not to have long distance? Someone tell me the logic in this one.

Re:Makes sense to me (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074536)

I should have mentioned, I initially decided on a personal cell phone (before work paid for it) because of the convenience.

Because my cellular phone essentially already includes my long distance charges I started using it even more then the home phone.

When I moved, I just couldn't justify the service being turned on.

Re:Makes sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074563)

They aren't supposed to charge you the interconnect fee for not having long distance if you are residential. If its a business line they can charge it

Watching it happen... (3, Informative)

codesurfer (786910) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074509)

I work for Canada's largest telecom, and this is something that we've been watching for the last few years. VOIP is being launched for business customers all over the country, and even consumer trials are being held at the moment. I'm not sure that landlines will completely disappear, but the impact to the old style telco is pretty evident. Ah, move with the times, I always say!

Re:Watching it happen... (2, Informative)

deputydink (173771) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074768)

True. Shaw and Rogers, the two incumbent Cable providers are already in trials to provide a 90 dollar Cable, Voip, Internet and ondemand video service that you can control from your computer, allowing you a Tivo-like PVR ability.

Canadians can expect to have this convergance within 3 months, here's the
press release [] and heres an overview []

The technology was provided by Siemens with its SURPASS line of switches, and is really amazing. You'll be able to provision multiple lines, virutual PBX's and high bandwidths with their business offerings as well.

They should take advantage of this opportunity ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074518)

Most copper installed since the 50's is still being used. In NYC, some of the original lead-jacketed, paper-insulated copper phone cabling is still in service. LEC's (Local Exchange Carriers) should take this opportunity to replace their ancient, widespread infrastructure. Imagine how telco's could dominate the boadband market if they could bring fiber to all their customers.

Contrary to most people think, the major Internet backbones are not anywhere near capacity. Telcos have NO shortage of bandwidth. Their problem is their inability to push the bandwidth people demand over analog copper lines. Fiber solves bandwidth problems and distance problems.


This is bad people! (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074519)

No, wait. It's not.

I'm not sorry for them - i don't know how it was in the rest of the world, but here (Argentina), telephone companies would take each chance they could to screw their customers for an extra penny.

Adapt and improve service, or die. Tough luck.

Re:This is bad people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074628)

And I bet you don't live just across the almost always arbitrary long distance calls boundary, like me.

Almost 600 pesos every two months.

A related question.. (2, Interesting)

guacamole (24270) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074529)

Does anyone know if one needs to pay for the phone service in order to keep DSL? I have DSL but feel like switching to cell phone for phone needs and I'd rather keep my DSL provider (worldcom)

Re:A related question.. (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074626)

Well, with your friendly-neighborhood-screw-you-in-the-pants-telco -monopoly, SBC, the answer is "of course"!

Although I've noticed Cox Cable has recently made having cable service optional for internet users.

Re:A related question.. (1)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074632)

An easy solution is to switch to cable, as I'm not sure you're able to have DSL without having a dial tone. They also usually give you bundles for having both DSL and phone service from the same company.

Re:A related question.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074723)

I think it depends on the provider. FWIW, in my area Qwest charges a $5/month fee if you get DSL from them but don't have a landline.

You could always call Worldcom and ask. Or spend a few minutes on their website (assuming it's not some unusable, 100% Flash, IE-required crapfest).

Screw 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074530)

Good... The telcos had an opportunity to switch to a packet based network in the 80s, they didn't. Now they're paying for their shortsightedness. Piss on 'em.

Now if we could just find the guy who decided to create GSM as a primarily voice system instead of just having voice be another application on a packet based system and THROTLE HIS ASS, we be that much better off. ;)

Ohh no!! (1)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074542)

Does this mean I have to give up my telegraph??

Also in the news tonight... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074545)

telecoms in Europe and U.S. are losing in response to people switching their home phones for cellphones and dial up to cable modems

Also in the news tonight, rain is still wet, leaves often grow on trees, and Guy Fawkes is still the only person to go into politics with honest intentions...

Sorry, just had to get that one out of the way... :)

did i say (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074547)

all you people on slashdot are a bunch of fucken nerds who do nothing but talk about crap like linux and those stupid gay geeky things!


you all need lives!

and who needs linux anyway, windows is better!

Windows is better than linux!

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Windows is better than linux!

bill gates is cool

Windows is better than linux!

you are nerds

Windows is better than linux!

nobody used linux

Windows is better than linux!

what practicle use does linux have

Windows is better than linux!

i never use linux

Windows is better than linux!


Windows is better than linux!

i have windows xp media center edition on my Dell

Windows is better than linux!

fucken dorks

Windows is better than linux!

Great, but... (1)

toxic666 (529648) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074558)

The reliability of wireless is not sufficient for critical services like 911. You are not going to see copper disappear, but some of its utility will (in part) be replaced by wireless.

Kind of like saying that the internal combustion engine offers so much mobility and personal choice that in ten years we'll be pulling up all the railroad tracks. Sure, it replaced a lot of rail traffic but we still need rail for mass transit and really heavy hauling (e.g. coal).

Re:Great, but... (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074593)

The reliability of wireless is not sufficient for critical services like 911.
A couple of possible problems with your reasoning:
  • It's not just telco versus cell, it's also telco versus internet telephony. Yes, you can make a 911 call on a Vonage line.
  • Traditional telco 911 is not all that reliable, e.g., the automatic address detection often doesn't work.
  • Monoculture doesn't lead to reliability. A system tends to be more robust when There's More Than One Way To Do It.

Re:Great, but... (1)

toxic666 (529648) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074652)

Yeah, you can call 911 on Vonage. But calling is not my point. Receiving that call is.

Do you really want the 911 receiver on wireless? The 911 stations are going to require the high-availability mandated by regulation. And wireless is very far from providing that.

Re:Great, but... (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074644)

We should be piling up the railroad tracks for recycling. Have you been trapped at an old school railroad crossing lately? There's nothing on the f'n boxes. Just empty box after empty box for a couple miles. Railroad must die.

Re:Great, but... (1)

toxic666 (529648) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074695)

Yeah, over the road transport of large volumes of hazardous materials is sooo much safer and cheaper than rail. Yeah, I'd feel much safer with all those cars full of acids, caustics, oxidizers, explosives, etc. behind the cab of an overworked teamster (not).

Rail still hauls a lot of volume. If you think the 5 minute wait on a secondary road is bad, think about the delay the last time you got stuck behind an interstate truck accident when it's loaded with hazardous materials.

Re:Great, but... (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074747)

That's fine. I don't want to see hazardous materials on the road any longer than they have to be. However, I think we can drastically reduce the rail network without compromising the ability to do super hauling. Not every town needs an industrial railroad stop. I'm seeing _empty_ trains and when I see _empty_ trains, I suspect some legislator is bringing home some high cholesterol pork.

Same wires! (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074567)

I guess 10 years and all the old wires are gonna start to be taken down."

What the poster doesn't realize is that if these wires come down, so does the Net. The Net runs on the exact same lines as does telephone. A "T1" has been around a looooong time. A T1 carries 24 telephone lines.

Re:Same wires! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074682)

Just to clarify:

A T1 utilizes a single copper pair, but the signal is channelized into 24 segments. One or more of these channels may be used as a "voice" line, up to 24 in fact. Multiple conversations, one line.

Re:Same wires! (3, Informative)

freebase (83667) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074744)

Actually a real T1 uses 2 pair, one for transmit, and one for receive. A T1 delivered by HDSL uses a single pair up to the smart jack, but it's still two pair (1,2,4,5 on the RJ45/RJ48).

And if you're actually in a CO, trying to trace a circuit between DSX panels, there's a fifth wire, the locator wire, wired in as part of the cross connect. It provides a neat function - when you insert a looping plug in the dsx, lights on both DSX panels come on to tell you where the circuit is.

Meanwhile, at the TelCos.... (0, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074570)

Even the old line Baby Bells admit that twisted pair POTS is on the way out, that's exactly why they have heavy investments in cellular companies, and they're also working on Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) projects [] of their own.

What's very interesting is that nearly all recently constructed cable TV systems bring fiber to nodes at roughly the "neighborhood" level and only convert to coax for a "last mile" link. They're not to far from finishing off to being a pure fiber solution either.

The twisted pair phone line may be on the way out, but the landline is far from giving up the fight. :)


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074725)

LostCluster = GNAA crapflooder

Also in India (2, Informative)

leonara (87228) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074575)

With the introduction of the relatively inexpensive CDMA service in India by Reliance, the number of households that have only cellphones is on the rise. This is true especially for young people setting up new homes. What makes this service even more attractive is that it makes nationwide calling very affordable when compared to the regular landline service.

I dunno (3, Informative)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074576)

I've had Vonage now for about 3 weeks and have mixed feelings on it. I've already had a few outages, and while all the features are nice (Such as the network availability forwarding, where it forwards calls to my cell phone if the voice terminal isn't online), my cable inet service seemed a whole lot more reliable before I got it.
Then again, it may be just the way my network is setup - seems like once or twice the problem has been with my firewall (Smoothwall) just 'locking up' during a 10+ minute long call.

All in all, if I can iron out these minor problems, I think it will be a lot nicer then a traditional landline, and the price is right. I'm just not at the phase where I trust it whole-heartedly, so I'm glad I have my cell as backup

Re:I dunno (1)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074680)

I would check your setup. I've been using a Vonage box in Africa over a satellite link. It has been over two months now. I have never had a problem with Vonage.

The power company and upstream provider, well those are stories for another time.

Re:I dunno (1)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074731)

Yes, from looking around the web some, it seems that it may be the SmoothWall box getting confused - my next attempt is to hook the voice terminal directly to the modem and use its DHCP server to assign an address to the router, then the switch, yadda yadda.

Re:I dunno (1)

the_argent (28326) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074746)

I had that same problem till I ignored how Vonage told me to set up the phone/router and put it behind my smoothwall firewall. Haven't had a bit of trouble since.

This is news? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074580)

I know, redundant, redundant, but Christ. How in the hell is an article about "more cellphones, fewer land lines" news? Even a non-techie, Wal-Mart shopping, Nascar watching people would know that. Shit, I've seen migrant workers with cell phones.

Linksys and Vonage teaming up (1)

isd_glory (787646) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074617)

Speaking of VOIP, did anyone else catch the press release [] on Linksys' website yesterday?

Linksys and Vonage have apparently got together to better take a stab at getting VOIP in homes. They just relased two new products, the PAP2 [] and the RT31P2 [] , both of which are to retail below $100 (before the inevitable rebates).

What about DSL? (4, Insightful)

chiph (523845) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074633)

The trend seems to becoming widespread, I guess 10 years and all the old wires are gonna start to be taken down

What about DSL?
Not everyone will have FITL (fiber-to-the-curb), so the existing copper lines will still have a use.

Chip H.

Re:What about DSL? (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074694)

Get the phone. It's Darwin.

Re:What about DSL? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074707)

Yeah, thanks. He said your mom was the missing link.

Re:What about DSL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074773)

FITL is Fiber In The Loop , although the service is frequently referred to as fiber to the curb

Why wouldn't people switch? (1)

Soldevi (776054) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074658)

With the dozens of taxes and fees on an average phone bill, why wouldn't someone switch to a cell phone? They end up comparable in price at the end and the cell phone is far more versatile.

Cell phones are also generally nation-wide. For the cost of your plan, your have long distance, local, whatever. Doesn't quite work that way with land lines.

Two disagreements (5, Insightful)

Octagon Most (522688) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074663)

First, the U.S. telecoms are not "losing." I work for one and it is making more money than ever. Sure land line usage has decreased for the first time ever, but revenue is up as more homes embrace broadband. And don't forget who owns the wireless companies.

Second, the "old wires" are not "gonna start to be taken down." There is a billion dollar infrastructure buried under the U.S. that's going nowhere. And a century of tweaking has made it rock solid. A new generation growing up on wireless phones won't appreciate the five nines of reliability that the PSTN provides, but most of the population is nowhere near ready to give up the phone line that stays up during power failures.

That said, the future is certainly IP based. The phone company knows that and will be well positioned to be the dominant provider. The RBOCs and the cable companies are the only players likely to survive in the broadband and IP-based future.

finally the internet delays a trend (3, Informative)

nbert (785663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074676)

I'm quite sure that internet access is the main reason we still have so many home phones after all.

Cable isn't that widespread in Europe, satelite links are quite expensive and they require a telephone line for upload. Access via power lines never really took off. There is nothing which beats 2 copper wires running to your house in terms of speed, reliability and price.

Wireless LANs bringing internet access to entire blocks reduces the amount of home phones, since only one POTS is needed to get it online, but (at least over here) we won't see telcos going down the drain before ISPs are offering (cheaper than telco) area-wide wireless access for their services.

I don't need a home phone at all, but my favorite monopolistic telco offers me DSL for a reasonable price. They also charge me for a mandatory phone connection using the same line, but it's still much cheaper than their closest competitor.

Oh, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10074679)

So when do the telcos start filing lawsuits against the cable companies and the VoIP providers, to protect their dying business model?

wires are for loosers (1)

another misanthrope (688068) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074692)

I have wireless ISP access (~3 mbs, nothing great) and have been using Vonage for over a year. I now forget I have it which to me is the litmus test for a replacement technology.

What's not to like? No more evil phone company, added features and a BIG savings.

I just don't see how the old school bells are going to survive, and frankly I don't care.

Boo Hoo... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074704)

They could compete if they wanted to, but they'd rather charge insane prices.

Now, this may be a painful period for telcos, but I don't think they'll die off entirely. Even if you are using VoIP, you're getting internet access from somewhere, and it's almost certainly not from your cell towers.

So, what's the alternative to telcos for internet access? Cable companies are an option, but they tend to be quite terrible in many (most?) areas, so it's most likely that telcos will remain as the company with the pair of wires you get everything from.

I look forward to a new utility comming along that acts as just an ISP, and provides better internet access than is currently available, but it's not going to happen for quite a while, so telcos are safe in the short-medium term.

I *don't* have a landline phone anymore. (5, Interesting)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074726)

I just moved. When I was living in an area that was kind of far out of town, I did not have cell coverage at my house. Now, we just moved and we do. So, no landline phone! My wife and I just use our cell phones. Of course, we still have our old numbers which are in a different area code. That freaks people our when we order pizza.

We used to have cable modem and used 802.11b for the past few years. Now, we have a neighbor who has a wireless network called "Linksys" with no WEP key set. So, we don't pay for internet anymore either. I suppose the day they put a wep key on it or shut it down, I will order either cable or DSL (we actually can get either where we live.)

We still have to pay for our cell phones and for electricity, but we're saving like $200 a month without phone or broadband. (Math check: Our old cable company wouldn't sell us broadband without digitial cable and the total price was like $100 a month. Plus, phone bill including long distance since the cell phones wouldn't work from the house and all our relatives live in other states.)

TimeWarner owns me now. (5, Informative)

methano (519830) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074749)

We just switched over to VOIP with Time Warner, who also sends us cable TV and Road Runner. They get a big check from us every month. It seems to work about the same except that all those features on the phone (Caller ID etc.) now work. Oddly enough, my old local company sent me a letter yesterday offering about the same deal. Why didn't they send me the offer while I was still a customer?
It reminded me of something that happened a few years ago at work.
We used to subscribe to a Derwent patent publication that listed new patents in the pharmaceutical industry. It costs about $30K a year. I called and asked if they could give us a little break on the price. "No Way," they said. So we cancelled the subscription. A few weeks later, they call up and said that there was a mistake and they could give it to us for only $800/yr. I said "No Way." Pricing in this information busness is funny stuff.

Imagine that (4, Funny)

RabidChicken (684107) | more than 10 years ago | (#10074755)

*gasp* businesses adapting to new technology!
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