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Saving wireline

It is curious that the ICT4D people still have an affection for wireline, when even in the place where wireline telephony was invented, it has become an endangered technology, kept alive through lobbying and regulation. Sort of like making it mandatory to have at least one petrol/gas station that does not require drivers to pump their own fuel.

Asked how much she pays for the landline, Ms. Horn found her latest bill and let out a loud “Ahhh!” She said she was sorry to be reminded that it costs her more than $80 a month. Still, Ms. Horn said she had no intention of switching because the landline service, she said, “will stay up as long as the planet doesn’t blow up.”

How to maintain a dependable wired network is a burning question for government regulators across the country. The onus is on legacy providers like Verizon and AT&T, but in some places they have pressed for permission to abandon the copper wires that were the connective tissue of their networks. Every step they take in that direction meets resistance from advocates for older adults and others who depend on landlines in emergencies.

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