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(NPR)   Traditional phone services has reached the end of the line. "The switches - the actual infrastructure - are reaching end of life"   (npr.org) divider line 45
    More: Obvious, infrastructure, Dr. Thomas Frieden, Public Knowledge, Neil Newhouse, American Legislative Exchange Council, Harold Feld  
•       •       •

4400 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Nov 2013 at 8:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-11-19 08:32:27 AM  
Wow a headline with a question mark at the end and the answer is actually yes.
 
2013-11-19 08:36:08 AM  
Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations
 
2013-11-19 08:44:05 AM  
Poor Sarah. How I'll miss thee.
 
2013-11-19 08:58:12 AM  
With the price of copper, it's no wonder the telcos don't want to replace the trunk lines.
I've been dealing with phone lines, working on fax machines for over 30 years, and in the
last 10 years it has gotten WORSE.  Most bigger businesses don't use "copper", they've already
switched to VoIP (which has it's own issues with faxing!).
As you drive around your city, town, neighborhood, look around.  Especially after a rainstorm,
look for a GIANT "air tank" strapped to a pole, with the hose running up to the trunk line.
If you are close enough to the tank, you'll notice the words LIQUID NITROGEN on the tank.
It is CHEAPER to pump liquid nitrogen through the trunk line, in an attempt to dry out the moisture,
than to replace the copper lines.  Water in the lines, along with idiots shooting them with BB guns,
birds, squirrels and the like, eat at the insulation, and when it is exposed, you end up with crosstalk,
(hearing another conversation while you are on the phone), the popping of popcorn, sizzling sound
as the wires short against one another.
It's been an issue, and the telcos won't address it, as the declining revenue from land lines is fading
away.  Once the baby boomers & older die out, the "land line" will go the way of the horse & buggy.
 
2013-11-19 09:00:39 AM  
The POTS, as in old fashioned phone exchanges, might be going away. However IP based technologies have the ability to perform the exact same function including everything from phone calls to 56k dial up and leased line.
 
2013-11-19 09:03:38 AM  

Thoguh: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

Is it a VOIP line?  Because if it is I have some bad news for you...


Nope...straight-up old-school  land-line
 
2013-11-19 09:04:40 AM  
Nope. The POTS line maybe, but the copper is still good for data.

/Ric Romero reports: Half the people in the world don't live in cities.
 
2013-11-19 09:05:00 AM  

Mr. Breeze: The POTS, as in old fashioned phone exchanges, might be going away. However IP based technologies have the ability to perform the exact same function including everything from phone calls to 56k dial up and leased line.


you do realize that you still need the copper to run the intertubes over ie POTS lines
 
2013-11-19 09:09:59 AM  

albatros183: Mr. Breeze: The POTS, as in old fashioned phone exchanges, might be going away. However IP based technologies have the ability to perform the exact same function including everything from phone calls to 56k dial up and leased line.

you do realize that you still need the copper to run the intertubes over ie POTS lines


You don't need copper but the alternatives are not really that widespread yet.
 
2013-11-19 09:11:32 AM  
I say "Good riddance!" to all this old-fashioned telephone stuff. Who wants to be tied down -- literally! -- with a cord while they're talking to someone? Back then, all your phone conversations had to be done at home or in the office at work, in private like somebody with something to hide. In this post-9/11 world? Really? And people used the same old phone for decades. Eww!

I don't mind buying a new $400 phone every year so I can keep up with all the new apps out there. I don't mind the dropped calls, lack of bars depending on where I am, garbled conversations, or expensive roaming charges. That's a small trade off for the sheer convenience of being able to holla my dirty laundry in public to my BFF Jill while I'm holding up the line at Starbucks.
 
2013-11-19 09:13:44 AM  

WordyGrrl: I say "Good riddance!" to all this old-fashioned telephone stuff. Who wants to be tied down -- literally! -- with a cord while they're talking to someone? Back then, all your phone conversations had to be done at home or in the office at work, in private like somebody with something to hide. In this post-9/11 world? Really? And people used the same old phone for decades. Eww!

I don't mind buying a new $400 phone every year so I can keep up with all the new apps out there. I don't mind the dropped calls, lack of bars depending on where I am, garbled conversations, or expensive roaming charges. That's a small trade off for the sheer convenience of being able to holla my dirty laundry in public to my BFF Jill while I'm holding up the line at Starbucks.


2/10
 
2013-11-19 09:17:00 AM  
For a good time call Jenny 867-5309
 
2013-11-19 09:26:53 AM  
That's not a switch.... THIS is a switch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpUy1Ra_WN0">http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=YpUy1Ra_WN0
 
2013-11-19 09:27:47 AM  
My phone company just replaced a few hundred feet of buried line from my house to the pole because of an annoying hum. I have DSL through them as well otherwise I'd go wireless.
 
2013-11-19 09:36:40 AM  

Thoguh: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

Is it a VOIP line?  Because if it is I have some bad news for you...


CSB: I was, in my capacity as a freelance tech journalist in the late '90s, at the launch of Qualcomm's first VOIP phone in (I think) '99. It seemed like a solution for a non-existant problem at the time, but then I suppose so did the quite useful Skype service, which I use frequently to talk to my Eurotrash relatives.
/CSB

Also, it's amazing how many times the phone has continued to work when the power hasn't. A little bit of know-how can make good use of those 48 volts.
 
2013-11-19 09:38:47 AM  

SubBass49: Thoguh: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

Is it a VOIP line?  Because if it is I have some bad news for you...

Nope...straight-up old-school  land-line


It's actually kinda irrelevant.  There are very few lines that originate on a land line that don't end up going through the same IP switching infrastructure.  Land vs. cell is only about the last mile, and both types of infrastructure are subject to quality issues and outages.

The problem with landlines now is that none of the phones on the end of them can stay alive when the power goes out.  Used to be a time you could have the power go out and still have phone service, which was of particular use during a snowstorm.

/my lawn, get off it
 
DAR [TotalFark]
2013-11-19 09:40:46 AM  
Sorry but I'm keeping my land line.  Cells phones are great for daily use / mobility but, as @ the first sign of trouble the grid goes down, your battery runs out, you hit a dead area, or law enforcement turns it off (see Boston Marathon 2013).

As backup to my land line, I have CBs & Ham radios in the house that can run off 12 volt car batteries.

Once I've exhausted all those forms of communications, I'll rely on my dogs barking.......k/dar
 
2013-11-19 09:47:40 AM  

unyon: SubBass49: Thoguh: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

Is it a VOIP line?  Because if it is I have some bad news for you...

Nope...straight-up old-school  land-line

It's actually kinda irrelevant.  There are very few lines that originate on a land line that don't end up going through the same IP switching infrastructure.  Land vs. cell is only about the last mile, and both types of infrastructure are subject to quality issues and outages.

The problem with landlines now is that none of the phones on the end of them can stay alive when the power goes out.  Used to be a time you could have the power go out and still have phone service, which was of particular use during a snowstorm.

/my lawn, get off it


During the huge Southern California Blackout of 2011, my landline was the only way I was able to find out that I didn't have to report to work the following day, which was a good thing due to the neighborhood cook-out/bonfire/sing-along outside my window that kept me up until 2am or so.
 
2013-11-19 09:47:47 AM  
DAR: or law enforcement turns it off (see Boston Marathon 2013).

Do you have any links to this? I'd like to read up on it.
 
2013-11-19 09:58:46 AM  

redmid17: WordyGrrl: I say "Good riddance!" to all this old-fashioned telephone stuff. Who wants to be tied down -- literally! -- with a cord while they're talking to someone? Back then, all your phone conversations had to be done at home or in the office at work, in private like somebody with something to hide. In this post-9/11 world? Really? And people used the same old phone for decades. Eww!

I don't mind buying a new $400 phone every year so I can keep up with all the new apps out there. I don't mind the dropped calls, lack of bars depending on where I am, garbled conversations, or expensive roaming charges. That's a small trade off for the sheer convenience of being able to holla my dirty laundry in public to my BFF Jill while I'm holding up the line at Starbucks.

2/10


2/10 my rear end.  That was comedy gold, and you, sir, have no sense of humor.
 
DAR [TotalFark]
2013-11-19 10:04:57 AM  

learn2fly: Do you have any links to this? I'd like to read up on it.


Just google Boston Marathon 2013 & ham radio.  There some debate that the cell phone grid went off line due to the # of calls and not law enforcement action but there's enough public information out there that it seems likely they ordered the Cell phone towers shut off because they suspected remote device triggers.

Point is, the cell phone grid was off line and the only reliable form of communications during the event was RF radios (CBs / Ham).......
 
2013-11-19 10:05:09 AM  
since 1934 the phone companies have received government funding to make sure that everyone has access to telephone communications. Some estimates say as much as 1 trillion dollars.
 
2013-11-19 10:06:50 AM  
We switched from DSL to cable, and the phone company must have misunderstood, because they turned off our POTS too.

We only ever faxed with it, so we're considering letting the mistake slide.
 
2013-11-19 10:17:37 AM  

Cranky McOldfart: redmid17: WordyGrrl: I say "Good riddance!" to all this old-fashioned telephone stuff. Who wants to be tied down -- literally! -- with a cord while they're talking to someone? Back then, all your phone conversations had to be done at home or in the office at work, in private like somebody with something to hide. In this post-9/11 world? Really? And people used the same old phone for decades. Eww!

I don't mind buying a new $400 phone every year so I can keep up with all the new apps out there. I don't mind the dropped calls, lack of bars depending on where I am, garbled conversations, or expensive roaming charges. That's a small trade off for the sheer convenience of being able to holla my dirty laundry in public to my BFF Jill while I'm holding up the line at Starbucks.

2/10

2/10 my rear end.  That was comedy gold, and you, sir, have no sense of humor.


Too obvious, evoked 9/11 without being Giuliani, also didn't reference texting with BFF Jill instead of talking on the phone to her.

It's only comedy gold to those not "in the know"
 
2013-11-19 10:18:03 AM  
Explains why mine only works 85% of the time despite numerous calls to Verizon.
 
2013-11-19 10:23:07 AM  
On Internet phones, your conversation competes for bandwidth with your neighbor's Netflix, and funny things can happen. If the audio is too compressed, it can sound "gargly." Or there can be latency - audible gaps in the sound.

...
if you don't have DQoS.
 
2013-11-19 10:36:01 AM  

Mr. Breeze: The POTS, as in old fashioned phone exchanges, might be going away. However IP based technologies have the ability to perform the exact same function including everything from phone calls to 56k dial up and leased line.


So your IP-based technology will continue to operate at your house for a week-long power outage when the only electricity source you have is your car's alternator and a drawerful of AA batteries?
 
2013-11-19 10:44:00 AM  
I use a land line and am satisfied with it.
 
2013-11-19 10:49:17 AM  

lilbjorn: Verizon.


...and there's your problem.

Fark that company with a rusty spork in every single orifice they have.  Pure, distilled assholery is what they represent.  Nine months I fought with those f*ckers over the crap DSL service that continually dropped out.  It would only stay connected for minutes at a time before kicking us off and requiring a modem reboot.  Their own techs they sent to my house even said it was a Verizon problem but maintenance isn't allowed to talk to customer service, nor the other way around.  CS would just say, "I'll put in a ticket."  Maintenance would say, "We changed your port."  CS would close the ticket.  Problem still wasn't fixed.  Lather, rinse, repeat... Nine months later, they changed "a piece of hardware at the CO" and the connection was stable, but at dialup speed.  Fought with them for another two months to get them to stop turning my speed down, which they say is automated and they can't disable it.  "There must be some kind of signal issue for it to be dialing back your speed," they'd tell me.  Three tech visits later and they can't find a problem... but magically the connection has been stable for about two months (*knocks on wood*) and at no point have they even considered any sort of refund for a connection that would only last a few minutes at a time.  "You were able to connect, therefore we delivered service."

F*ck Verizon.

/sorry
//rant off
///I don't like Verizon
 
2013-11-19 11:12:16 AM  

farkmedown: Mr. Breeze: The POTS, as in old fashioned phone exchanges, might be going away. However IP based technologies have the ability to perform the exact same function including everything from phone calls to 56k dial up and leased line.

So your IP-based technology will continue to operate at your house for a week-long power outage when the only electricity source you have is your car's alternator and a drawerful of AA batteries?


The services provided are pretty much the same. I didn't say anything about reliability in contingency situations in which case the problem that cause electrical service interruption very likely took down your POTS line as well.
 
2013-11-19 11:50:22 AM  
I still use my land line to call Google so they can search things for me.
 
2013-11-19 11:57:51 AM  
About 5 years ago, I ditched my POTS line as I had been using my cell phone and the Internet exclusively. All was well.

Then, I moved to a new place and the cell signal sucks bedly enough here that I actually went and got a POTS line... and since it was cheap, I added DSL to it for backup Internet (Cable being my primary) - I telecommute, so having the backup Internet is worthwhile - also, I find that my company's VOIP system sucks badly enough that I get better results forwarding my calls to my POTS line. The quality is still quite good here - I imagine in a few years it'll be another story.

The wired POTS is likely going to come to an end in the US. I don't know what will be done for folks "on the edges"  in remote rural areas where cellular and such don't reach - in theory, there should be some way to serve those folks, but of course without a monolithic "The Phone Company" to force coverage with - I guess maybe the gvt. will need so subsidize directly somehow.
 
2013-11-19 12:13:47 PM  
I just bought a 56k modem and am getting a kick out of these replies.

/Remote meter reading once a month.
//Phone line $30/month. Fixed-IP business high speed internet: $80/month.
 
2013-11-19 12:16:08 PM  

Mr. Breeze: farkmedown: Mr. Breeze: The POTS, as in old fashioned phone exchanges, might be going away. However IP based technologies have the ability to perform the exact same function including everything from phone calls to 56k dial up and leased line.

So your IP-based technology will continue to operate at your house for a week-long power outage when the only electricity source you have is your car's alternator and a drawerful of AA batteries?

The services provided are pretty much the same. I didn't say anything about reliability in contingency situations in which case the problem that cause electrical service interruption very likely took down your POTS line as well.


Not with the ice storms here. POTS and gas service stay up, electricity goes down. A simple floor furnace keeps the house warm and POTS keeps the lifeline open.
 
2013-11-19 12:19:44 PM  

SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations


I always hear people say they have a land line for emergencies and I wonder, what emergency would require me to be able to phone someone when there is no cell service.  Anywhere in the civilized world 911 can bump all other traffic off the cell network so if I need an ambulance when the cell system is overloaded I'll most likely be able to call.  Apart from 911 there is nothing I would need to be able to contact people for in an emergency.  Even if someone I loved is dying how is me being there going to help anything?  I have the same question about people that keep cells in case of emergency.  Why would anyone ever need me in a life or death situation?
 
2013-11-19 12:30:34 PM  

under a mountain: For a good time call Jenny 867-5309


Wrong thread. Also, her name is Carrie.

/[Not sure if serious.jpg]
 
2013-11-19 01:15:21 PM  

gund goat: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

I always hear people say they have a land line for emergencies and I wonder, what emergency would require me to be able to phone someone when there is no cell service.  Anywhere in the civilized world 911 can bump all other traffic off the cell network so if I need an ambulance when the cell system is overloaded I'll most likely be able to call.  Apart from 911 there is nothing I would need to be able to contact people for in an emergency.  Even if someone I loved is dying how is me being there going to help anything?  I have the same question about people that keep cells in case of emergency.  Why would anyone ever need me in a life or death situation?


I'm the kind of person who likes to be prepared for anything, but at some point you have to decide what's necessary or practical.  Most people don't keep a horse in their garage in case their car breaks down.
 
2013-11-19 01:16:52 PM  

gund goat: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

I always hear people say they have a land line for emergencies and I wonder, what emergency would require me to be able to phone someone when there is no cell service.  Anywhere in the civilized world 911 can bump all other traffic off the cell network so if I need an ambulance when the cell system is overloaded I'll most likely be able to call.  Apart from 911 there is nothing I would need to be able to contact people for in an emergency.  Even if someone I loved is dying how is me being there going to help anything?  I have the same question about people that keep cells in case of emergency.  Why would anyone ever need me in a life or death situation?


Um, what? That's not true at all.

(Yes, I work for a cell phone company - network side, not in a store or some crap)
 
2013-11-19 01:29:05 PM  

whenIsayGO: gund goat: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

I always hear people say they have a land line for emergencies and I wonder, what emergency would require me to be able to phone someone when there is no cell service.  Anywhere in the civilized world 911 can bump all other traffic off the cell network so if I need an ambulance when the cell system is overloaded I'll most likely be able to call.  Apart from 911 there is nothing I would need to be able to contact people for in an emergency.  Even if someone I loved is dying how is me being there going to help anything?  I have the same question about people that keep cells in case of emergency.  Why would anyone ever need me in a life or death situation?

I'm the kind of person who likes to be prepared for anything, but at some point you have to decide what's necessary or practical.  Most people don't keep a horse in their garage in case their car breaks down.


I figure I can skate by without a POTS line, and I'm pretty sure the "POTS" option for my building is ATT VOIP. I'm content with VOIP from RCN. If electricity goes down for an extended amount of time, I figure it's going to be bad in my area. Luckily I can walk a block to the hospital if need be, and I can hit the fire station with a baseball from my apartment building. Failure is not an option on the walk either, even in dire situations. My GF would kill me if I didn't make it to the hospital in time ;)
 
2013-11-19 02:09:22 PM  
But we're still paying 10¢ per month for all the upgrades to DTMF dial tones, right? I mean, at least we won't lose that, right?
 
2013-11-19 04:04:01 PM  
Well, we live outside the cell coverage umbrella, beyond the cable TV wiring, all we have is POTS, AKA, Twisted Pair.  We do get DSL along with this.  I also got a microcell, but when the power all goes off, the only thing that will still work is the phone - well, actually everything will work since the entire shebang is plugged into a UPS to give me fault tolerance for the flickering power supply up here.

I've been saying for a while now that I think we will eventually rue the day we let the copper wire phone system be demolished - nothing replacing it comes even CLOSE to the reliablity of the old AT+T system back in the old pre-breakup days - SEVEN Sigma reliablity originated there.

Not that I don't like my mobile phone, but when the earthquake hit San Francisco during the World Series way back when, everything stopped working except the phone - which was grossly overloaded, but continued to work the entire time.
 
2013-11-19 04:16:36 PM  

gund goat: SubBass49: Hey guys...I've got a GREAT idea!  Let's put ALL our eggs in ONE basket!

/maintain a corded land-line for emergency situations

I always hear people say they have a land line for emergencies and I wonder, what emergency would require me to be able to phone someone when there is no cell service.  Anywhere in the civilized world 911 can bump all other traffic off the cell network so if I need an ambulance when the cell system is overloaded I'll most likely be able to call.  Apart from 911 there is nothing I would need to be able to contact people for in an emergency.  Even if someone I loved is dying how is me being there going to help anything?  I have the same question about people that keep cells in case of emergency.  Why would anyone ever need me in a life or death situation?


The power going out for a few hours or a few days due to severe weather is a reasonably common thing to happen in a large part of the country.  If the power is out, you probably aren't getting cell service.  Especially if it is out for more than a short time.
 
2013-11-19 11:16:41 PM  
So much for five nines.
 
2013-11-19 11:31:24 PM  

DigitalSorceress: About 5 years ago, I ditched my POTS line as I had been using my cell phone and the Internet exclusively. All was well.

Then, I moved to a new place and the cell signal sucks bedly enough here that I actually went and got a POTS line... and since it was cheap, I added DSL to it for backup Internet (Cable being my primary) - I telecommute, so having the backup Internet is worthwhile - also, I find that my company's VOIP system sucks badly enough that I get better results forwarding my calls to my POTS line. The quality is still quite good here - I imagine in a few years it'll be another story.

The wired POTS is likely going to come to an end in the US. I don't know what will be done for folks "on the edges"  in remote rural areas where cellular and such don't reach - in theory, there should be some way to serve those folks, but of course without a monolithic "The Phone Company" to force coverage with - I guess maybe the gvt. will need so subsidize directly somehow.


The government does subsidize exactly this. There are certain areas where cell companies will get a heavy subsidy to build new coverage in your area. You can also sign up for certain extremely low cost cell phone plans that are subsidized by the government. This is why you have a charge for the federal universal service fund on your cell bill.
 
2013-11-20 12:32:56 AM  
The Telephone companies have already gotten FCC permission to discontinue landline phone service.
I worked there for more than 30 years. We were repairing and refusing to replace phone wires that were installed in 1946
 
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