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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... rest of us, the idea that you can count on the fact that a business, organisation, or individual can make or receive PSTN calls will no longer be 90%, or even 50%, assured. (I suspect the breakdown point is somewhere close to 71%, at which point the chance that any _two_ entities have phone access reaches 50%.)

And once that point is reached, things will change very, very quickly. The flipside of network growth dynamics, with their positive-feedback cycles, is network _decline_.

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