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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Which makes me suspect that telco providers, possibly even mobile, are inviting this. They want out of expensive landline obligations.

This, incidentally, mirrors some earlier patterns in networked industries, especially comms and transport. Transit systems especially were frequently private affairs in the 19th and early 20th century, but became government-owned, typically municipalised, especially in the 2nd half of the 20th century. The pattern I see is that _early_ network...

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