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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

The end of POTS lines?

When ISDN was introduced, it was believed it would be the next common wired communications service. I remember looking at an office phone system and being told that POTS lines would go away and ISDN would be the norm.

20 years later, ISDN is fading away. It’s unavailable in many areas already. Funny how POTS has managed to stick around.

Or has it?

AT&T filed comments with the FCC that say for broadband deployment to continue, the legacy circuit-switched network must be phased out to make room for broadband and IP. A main argument is that as demand and usage of POTS lines decreases, the cost to maintain that network increases. The money spent on maintaining the circuit-switched network could be better applied to broadband services.

I can’t say I totally disagree with the general idea. We’re using IP connectivity for almost everything already. It’s also much more efficient than circuit-switched networks. But still, the idea of not have any tip-ring anywhere? It’s almost hard to believe.

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