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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What's possible as well is that a new comms system will grow out of some institution that finds it has a pressing communications issue and has the means within itself to come up with a solution. This is in fact how virtually all previous communications technologies have emerged.

Clay tablets and papayrus from grainkeepers and priests (often one and the same), the telegraph was a natural adjunct of railroads, for both right-of-way and signaling and messaging needs.

The Internet ...

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