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Last week, I was traveling quite a bit and during some airplane time, I read AT&T’s comments to NBP Public Notice #25, more easily recognized as comments from AT&T regarding “Hark!, the end of the POTS and PSTN Network!” I found it by going online and typing in some words similar to the words I hyperlinked above. Like me, I’m sure you at least saw some headlines about this since it got quite a bit of coverage. I decided to go read it myself and see what they sent in to the FCC. It’s certainly an interesting read and I have to say AT&T makes some very compelling arguments about the end of the PSTN network.
AT&T discusses an orderly transition and retirement of the PSTN. Some of the headlines just cited something like “AT&T advocates killing the PSTN”, probably just to create controversy so you’d go read the article. It’s not like they are advocating to “cut this stuff” immediately, and the report cites orderly transitions similar to what was used for moving from analog to digital TV broadcasting.
AT&T has two key points about why they are advocating transitioning away from POTS and the PSTN. First of all, if a goal is universal telephone service to everyone, broadband is an easier way to get there and stay there at this point in time, and perhaps more importantly, is certainly a better infrastructure investment for the country. And secondly, they are requesting ending the regulations regarding POTS and PSTN since if the government moved in a direction to universal broadband, then the regulations would be somewhat moot.
In my next blog, I will delve into a deeper discussion regarding these two points.