AT&T and Verizon to Start Phasing Out Landlines

AT&T and Verizon to Start Phasing Out Landlines

By Yehudit Garmaise

Will traditional landline service soon no longer be an option in the U.S.?

The last American users of landlines are residents older than 65, small business owners, hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ officers, CNN reported, and Rockland Daily will add to the group: Orthodox Jews.

As phone service providers worldwide have replaced the older copper wires that provide landline service with the wireless infrastructure required of cell phones, phone companies no longer want to maintain the older technology. 

Last week, AT&T applied to the California Public Utilities Commission for a waiver that could allow it to stop servicing traditional landlines in California, CNN Business reported.

The faster, more advanced, and digital technology increasingly requires new infrastructure, which does not work with the older copper wires, which are inching toward getting phased out.

“We’ve seen a precipitous decline in demand for telephone services provided over our copper networks,” an AT&T spokesperson told CNN. “We are focused on enhancing our network with more advanced, higher speed technologies like fiber and wireless, which consumers are demanding.”

Within the next few years, AT&T and Verizon plan to use only the newer technology, which will require converters for landline users.

Consumers who want to hold on to their landlines may face higher costs and decreased reliability because of “complex, expensive workarounds that would be required by the phone companies,” reported CNN.

As alternatives to landlines, for instance, US service providers are required to offer devices that convert digital phone service to landlines.

The devices cost $200 to $400 and convert analog signals to digital signals through either fiber optic cables or wireless technology, like LTE/5G.

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