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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...build-outs, particularly where highly-sought customers can be served in isolation (see the 1980s computer magazines @natecull posted earlier today, featuring ... zarrow people of colour) means early entrepreneurs can achieve high returns on investment. For both electrical and telephone grids, it wasn't until the US government established rural cooperatives for each that rural services were established in much of the country. So much for the free market.

Over a longer span, postal ...

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