"I don't think this is going to be a popular platform with the carriers"
Isn't it time for the POTS (and it's younger brother cellular) system to die? Stateside termination is more fragmented than Android. One of the largest stateside carries uses termination that's not compatible with the rest of the world, designed to control income and users, not to provide quality services to it's clients. Available termination devices are designed to increase income for providers, not to provide the cutting edge of technology.
Project ARA is a big threat to the proprietary hold communication carriers have on the stateside voice communication market.
Whereas Joe Sixpac doesn't know it, anyone with little
technical ability can have a dialup number without any service plan from ANY carrier.
The separation between "data plans" and "phone plans" is ridiculous, but every carrier likes to make differentiations between the receiving device and the price they charge.
At the very least, project ARA is being supported by a company that clearly discloses it's participation in the services it provides, provides clear notifications to it's users when it changes those terms, and is a strong enough player to take on the legislated inequities the current players in the communication market are benefiting from.