The first lie: “Our current infrastructure has served us well for almost a century but it no longer meets the needs of America?s consumers,” AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi said
Analog phones and analog dial tones perfectly serve everyone needing a voice call with another party, and they always will.
The second and 3rd lies: Cleland, a former White House telecom policy adviser, said that even if people wanted to keep the old system, “they are not making the switches anymore for this. And the engineers they need to keep it alive are retiring.”
The POTS system is fully mature, fully built. And there are fewer customers on POTS. So there is no need for new production switches, only parts to maintain the currently installed units. Which is why the industry stopped producing new units. But they haven't stopped producing parts. This argument is a red herring.
And when anyone says "nobody knows how to do it anymore, they're all retiring" you KNOW the entire argument is bullsh-t. This argument is literally the equivalent of saying "it's impossible to train new people to do this job". Ahem, if the job pays well, people will gladly learn to do it.
Make no mistake my fellow slashdot readers, the push by the telcos to switch the last mile of analog copper to digital has nothing to do with any of these 3 lies. It is all about profit motive. They have all been losing money as many customers have switched entirely to cell phones for voice, and cable TV for internet service. The city centric telcos want digital to the home phone so they can charge more for additional mandatory bundled services, generate more revenue by displaying ads on the new phones with big multi-line displays that people will be forced to buy, etc, etc. Want proof from the article itself?
'though the transition should not be harmed by “burdensome economic regulations,” such as mandates or price caps.'
This says the ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers) should be allowed to charge whatever they want for the new digital phone service. Every person but one they interviewed for that article is a paid shill for the ILECs.
"Anna-Maria Kovacs, a visiting scholar at Georgetown?s Center for Business and Public Policy, stressed that phone companies “must be allowed to repurpose the capital that is currently deployed to support their obsolete circuit-switched networks” during the switch to guarantee a competitive edge."
Since when does a public policy scholar shill the position of a corporate entity? "MUST be allowed... to guarantee a competitive edge."? When she and her study are funded by these corporate interests, not by the taxpayers.
Switching the last mile of copper from analog to digital is a big loser for the consumer from both a reliability of infrastructure and monthly cost perspective. Digital only phone service over copper will be inherently less reliable and will cost significantly more than POTS. Switching to digital won't save the telcos any money. They're banking on charging customers more for it, for extra mandatory services nobody wants or needs.