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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It's pretty much the history of the early telephone industry in the US, where one scrappy upstart, first known as the Bell Patent Association, or later and more popularly, as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, struck on the bulletproof business plan of buying up long-distance connections and denying them to any competitors.

While AT&T's 1980s anti-trust conviction is fairly well-known, the fact that the company operated under anti-trust restrictions (and, to be sure, a ...

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