How many years until General Direct Dialed telephony dies?


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 ...



... I suspect that banking, government, military, and news applications were among the early and prominent ones, possibly with the first world war playing a significant role.

And the adoption curve does suggest wartime acceleration (and a Depression depression). The 50% adoption mark wasn't reached until over 50 years after the telephone's invention.

(Source: HBR:

But somewhere in that history should be clues as to what might lead next-gen comms development.


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