AT&T Wants to Shut Down Its Landline Phone Service





AT&T Trucks

Do you still use an old-fashioned landline phone service? Its days may be numbered as AT&T and other providers are moving to shut it down and replace it with an Internet-based phone service.

AT&T has asked the California Public Utilities Commission to shut down its traditional phone service. The telecom giant argues that maintaining copper cable wiring is expensive, and it would rather focus on fiber and cell phone service.

This push is not limited to California as traditional phone services have slowly been shut down across the country. In August 2022, the FCC announced that U.S. telecom companies are no longer required to provide copper landline services. The old copper lines that handled phone service for years are being replaced by fiber. In Michigan, landline service is also being shut down by multiple landline companies.

This battle may be very public in California but AT&T has slowly been shutting down its networks in other states also.

The key benefit of copper lines is that they still operate even during a power outage (assuming you have an old-style phone directly connected to it). But that advantage is quickly going away as companies seek to shut down the old lines.

For consumers, there are a growing number of home internet options like 5G wireless, fiber, cable, and satellite. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a home phone, you just need to find a company that offers digital home phone options like Ooma. The telecom and cable providers all bundle voice, too, but that’s a web-based service.

For years AT&T has stopped selling its traditional DSL over copper. Now it is pushing its AT&T Air Internet service that offers 5G home Internet wirelessly. This is far easier for AT&T to maintain and can offer far faster speeds than DSL. 

No word yet if California will approve this request.

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