Up until late 2022, telecom companies were required to offer copper landline services. But the FCC abandoned this “burdensome” regulation to make way for fiber-optic technology. As a result, companies like AT&T are slowly shutting down their respective landline operations.
According to its website, AT&T still offers traditional landline service in some regions. But the company is simultaneously revoking landline access from some customers. As reported by the Times of San Diego, AT&T recently told a California condo association that it needs a fiber-optic upgrade to continue receiving home phone service.
Essentially, AT&T is pushing its landline customers toward VOIP—phone service that operates through the internet. If your home phone uses a mobile or broadband network (which is extremely common these days), you don’t need to worry about losing service. But those who rely on copper landlines will be forced to upgrade at some point.
Ditching landlines will allow AT&T to install more fiber-optic cables, which provide internet speeds that are magnitudes faster than DSL or cable internet. Still, some people argue that copper landlines need to stick around, as the old-fashioned technology is favored by many seniors.
Oh, and small telecom companies can’t save you from this trend. When the federal government broke up telecom monopolies in the 1990s, it dictated that large providers must offer “analog voice-grade copper loops” to their competitors. Without this regulation, the majority of small providers will be forced to give up on landlines.
If you or a family member still uses landline phone service, now’s the time to upgrade. A VOIP phone service that operates over a mobile or broadband network is the way to go. Ask your cable or internet provider if they bundle VOIP home phone service with their other plans.
Source: AT&T via Cord Cutters News