Internet Calling Pressures Bells to Lower Rates – New York Times “The Bells still control the bulk of the country’s 180 million landlines and are far from giving up on what has been a giant cash cow. When pushed, they are even offering their own Internet-based calling, but these services are rarely advertised. It is cheaper to cut prices to keep customers, they figure, than to try to win back customers later from a rival. During the first quarter of this year, the number of traditional telephone lines dropped by 150,000 a week, according to TeleGeography. At the same time, the number of subscribers to Internet telephone services has increased by 100,000 a week.