I am not a Luddite and do not long for the days before computers, cable TV and VoIP. But Fran Martens, one of our senior analysts, is always sure to copy me on copper land line issues. She knows I am one of those people who cares about retaining this option. My other colleagues, within TMI and outside of TMI, assure me that I just need to get used to the idea that copper wires to our homes and offices will become obsolete when voice-as-an-application over broadband is the standard. Maybe the transition will take a decade or more – but obsolescence is assured nonetheless.
If the existing copper network becomes useless and has no retained value, can I have it? I would like to have the wires in place, the junction boxes, the pole attachments and the bunker-like buildings where they all interconnect as well. Here is what I would end up with:
- A nationwide network that reaches almost every household and office in America
- A robust system that enables emergency communications during manmade and natural disasters, even when electric power is not available to end user locations
- A simple, low maintenance network that can be serviced by technicians with minimal training and education
- A network that supports person to person communications with a high level of continuity and sound quality, using instruments that were not designed to become obsolete every two years
- A network which is relatively impervious to malware attacks and international security breaches
- A backup network for all the broadband users who need a simple, secure, reliable, high quality communication path when all else fails (it will still be working after the Zombie Apocalypse)
- A communication network that embraces equally the young and the old; the rich and the poor; the tech savvy and the Luddites
Mind you, I am not planning to give up my Galaxy smart phone, my Verizon wireless accounts, our Bright House cable TV, our Netflix subscription, my HP tablet and wireless LAN, or our tw telecom high capacity fiber network to our office, even if all the telcos gave me their wireline networks. But it could be a costly trade if it means losing the simplicity, ubiquity, interconnectivity and safety of the wire line networks in place today.