How many years until General Direct Dialed telephony dies?

Discuss.

As I'd posted this poll a week or so back, general direct-dialed telephony, a/k/a PSTN (public switched telephone networks) seem to be in trouble. I think we could be within five years of their total collapse. And no, not just land lines (already about 25% of their peak in much of the US), but _all_ direct-dialed phones: mobile and VOIP included.

The problem, as I'd written before, is paradoxically the _low_ cost of calls. This is inducing tremendous volumes of junk calls, with one ...

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Serving a subdivision of 1,000 homes with 95% phone service costs about the same as one with 5% service -- the trunk lines and switchboxes still need to be there. But the revenues are 19x smaller.

And it's likely that the remaining customers are _not_ higher than average on the socioeconomic status. Though it seems people _will_ drop landline service rather than mobile, when push comes to shove. Landline subscriptions plummeted during the 2007-8 financial crisis, mobile rose.

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