AT&T landline service terminates in 2020?

General discussions and other topics.
17 posts Page 1 of 2
by jillianmoffett » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:05 pm
According to AT&T, landlines across the USA are going away forever by 2020.

But in the event of a emergency with power outage, a landline service doesn't need power to run, it would make sense to have that service available.

I called AT&T today to get new landline service and was told that AT&T will no longer offer new landline service accounts. If you have an existing AT&T landline service account, AT&T will support it until the year 2020. Then it will be turned off forever!

Unless a company comes in and buys the infrastucture from AT&T. Will buy the landlines?

Can anyone explain to me how to communicate in the event of a power outage in rural settings that do not have a reliable cell signal? And don't cell towers also need power to run?

Does anyone have a article I can read to understand how this is even happening? Or what the battle is all about?
by dane » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:59 pm
It's important to separate copper lines themselves from the services that go over them. The copper wires aren't going anywhere, what's changing is the technology. It's an evolution from POTS (plain old telephone service) to IP-enabled voice solutions. And yes, this isn't ideal in a power outage, but that can be addressed with batteries.

And also, this has no bearing on Sonic's services; our Fusion service delivered over copper lines incorporates POTS, and we certainly can continue to do that.
Dane Jasper
by jillianmoffett » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:20 pm
AT&T said they are no longer supporting the copper wires. In major cities they are replacing the system with fiber optic-which is reliant on power. And that is in the urban places. I am in West Marin, and other rural settings who have the copper landlines are totally freaking out. There is no plan to replace them with fiber optic and even if they did, power does go down frequently in rural settings. Fire, downed trees, earthquake.... Landlines are essential in an emergency. Can you speak to my concern here and tell me how this is helping rural people?

If I have battery back up in my home is that all that is needed to keep fiber optic reliable?
or is this battery supposed to be at the AT&T main source to keep in running in an emergency?
by dane » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:27 pm
Again, the end of POTS voice would not be the end of copper lines, the VoIP services that AT&T is likely to offer to replace POTS will come over...copper wires, everywhere they haven't yet placed fiber.

If they place fiber and want to retire copper lines, that's certainly possible, and then you can talk about concerns with regards to battery backup viability etc, but we're not talking about the end of voice telephone service, e911, etc.

And again, this has no bearing on the technology that Sonic chooses to offer over copper lines, AT&T could choose to do VoIP while Sonic does not. Put another way, if this discontinue POTS, I see an opportunity there. ;)
Dane Jasper
by jillianmoffett » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:40 pm
I'm not saying it's the end of voice telephone service, access to 911, etc. My concern is for rural folks who rely on the copper wires to get phone service. If they are not serviced or replaced with fiber optic, and cell service is not reliable, what are we to use in an emergency?

What opportunity is there for Sonic if AT&T discontinues POTS?

The whole concern for me the the power part. Landlines work when there is no power.
by dane » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:54 pm
I think we will see a mixture of technologies gradually replace POTS: VoIP over copper or fiber, and over fixed wireless. All will deliver dial tone and e911, but all will require batteries on site in order to function during a power outage.

Sonic expects to continue to deliver over copper where we haven’t yet built fiber, and to provide POTS via that copper.

Where we build fiber, we migrate members from the rented copper to our own fiber network, and deliver voice using VoIP.
Dane Jasper
by virtualmike » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:05 pm
Landline Phones Disappearing in These 20 States ... 20-states/

According to the Chicago Tribune, state legislatures in 20 of those 21 states have given AT&T the OK to end landline service in their states so the telecommunications company can focus and invest more in wireless or internet-based phone networks. California is now the only holdout among states where AT&T is the legacy phone carrier. still is offering traditional landline service. However, several pages there mention that in areas where fiber is available, AT&T is transitioning customers off copper and onto fiber.
by digitalbitstream » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:26 pm
I have relatives in an rural area where the copper will disappear. Yes, AT&T wants to rip out at least some unprofitable copper.
by dane » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:33 pm
digitalbitstream wrote:
I have relatives in an rural area where the copper will disappear. Yes, AT&T wants to rip out at least some unprofitable copper.

Yes, that's quite true. Particularly very rural areas with really long, old cables.

In most of these areas, broadband over those wires is a moot point - they were far too long to ever deliver broadband. And now AT&T wants to deliver fixed wireless LTE internet plus home phone service, and decommission the old copper. And while the loss of POTS landline isn't ideal, I think 10Mbps internet over a terrestrial connection is a win. Many of these locations only had satellite internet or even just dialup before. Here's the product info:
Dane Jasper
by wa2ibm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:34 am
digitalbitstream wrote:
... AT&T wants to rip out at least some unprofitable copper.

Well, if only they would actually do that. My bet is that they'll simply abandon the cables and wires and let them rot in place, providing a wonderful view for the neighbors.

The various state utility commissions that allow AT&T and their ilk to discontinue copper facilities should also require their physical removal, along with the support poles, where they're the only utility using them. We shouldn't allow the countryside to continue to be cluttered with last centuries abandoned tech.

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