AT&T to FCC: Drop The Landline Requirement
AT&T wants to be rid of analog land-based services for good.
Thanks to a sharp decline in landline use, AT&T has asked the FCC to drop its requirement that phone carriers provide analog landline services. In its 32-page filing located here, AT&T wants the FCC to provide a deadline for phasing out old analog system. According to GigaOM, one in five Americans still use land-based analog services; the rest rely on mobile phones and VoIP as primary means of communication.
But what AT&T doesn't provide in its document to the FCC is a means to bridge the gap for those who still rely on landlines. The document also doesn't address how the government will be able to drag online the 33-percent of consumers not subscribing to broadband. What AT&T did provide was data that indicated AT&T is losing money maintaining the analog system while consumers jump onto wireless and VoIP services.
According to the filing, revenue generated from land-based analog services fell 27-percent, racking in $178.6 billion in 2000 down to $130.8 billion in 2007. AT&T also indicated that at least 18 million households subscribe to VoIP services, and that cable companies will provide VoIP to more than 24 million subscribers by 2010.
AT&T's request to the FCC also asked that broadband regulatory jurisdiction be at the federal level rather than on a local or state level. The company also wants the FCC to determine how to deal with disabled consumers and public safety situations in a VoIP environment.