Fixed Broadband

AT&T asks the FCC to require wireline phones to switch to cell

In its filing dated December 21 09 and the company called upon the Commission to begin consideration of a formal deadline for the transition of all wireline customers to a wireless system comprising broadband and IP-based connectivity -- refraining from referring to 3G or 4G services in a cellular context. AT&T's reasoning: Carriers can no longer afford to maintain the old network while simultaneously building out the new one.


"It is accordingly crucial that the Commission pursue forward-looking regulatory policies that remove disincentives to private investment and encourage operators to extend broadband to unserved areas," writes AT&T's attorneys. "Any such forward-looking policy must enable a shift in investment from the legacy PSTN to newly deployed broadband infrastructure. While broadband usage -- and the importance of broadband to Americans' lives -- is growing every day, the business model for legacy phone services is in a death spiral. Revenues from POTS are plummeting as customers cut their landlines in favor of the convenience and advanced features of wireless and VoIP services. At the same time, due to the high fixed costs of providing POTS, every customer who abandons this service raises the average cost-per-line to serve the remaining customers. With an outdated product, falling revenues, and rising costs, the POTS business is unsustainable for the long run. Yet a web of federal and state regulations has the cumulative effect of prolonging, unnecessarily, the life of POTS and the PSTN."


"The business model that sustained circuit-switched voice service over the last century is dying. For decades, POTS was the primary if not the exclusive option for voice communications, and nearly all households subscribed," reads AT&T's filing. "But in recent years technological change and market forces have made POTS and the PSTN increasingly obsolete. Those same forces make a full transition to broadband inevitable."


What do you think about this? AT&T wants to shut off everyone they are not providing with DSL. They do not want to fix old lines or do any upgrades. And to make matters worse AT&T cell service does not even serve rual areas and in areas where it does the phones will not work inside homes or cars so many will have no service at all under this plan.



It sounds like AT&T should have never been allowed to buy wireline services because all they wanted to do was get access to the customers so they could switch them to celluar. AT&T should be forced to sell its wireline business if it can not upgrade all the customers to DSL capable lines.



-3 votes
Idea No. 248