The Future of the PSTN

How's that for a big topic? I think about it a lot, but its demise looks increasingly inevitable, especially the way the FCC is talking these days. Much like the railroads, when the system becomes too expensive to operate, the operators start making noise and giving reasons why it needs to be scaled back or done away with altogether.

I can see this unfolding at some point, but am also of an old school mindset that says the PSTN still has value - it just needs to be reinvented. Back in the 50's, when the U.S. Interstate highway system was built, it provided a huge boost for the auto industry, and train service has been on the decline ever since. In essence, the highway was simply a better way for people to travel, and the same argument can be made for why landlines are rapidly giving way to VoIP and mobility.

However - the trains run just fine, thank you, and in some markets have regained their appeal - especially where the highways have become way overcrowded and add a lot of stress to the daily commute. Of course, providing WiFi sure helps, and for a lot of people, the train is a far more productive form of commuting. I'd like to think the telcos might come up with similar brainwaves at some point, as the PSTN still has virtues - security, hello - that VoIP or mobility simply can't match.

Enough said. I could go on quite a bit here, but it's time to transition this to the podcast. I've missed several of the recent UCStrategies podcasts, but things finally worked out for this week. So, if you want hear how our group is weighing in on this topic, you can give it listen now. What do you think?