As I'd posted this poll a week or so back, general direct-dialed telephony, a/k/a PSTN (public switched telephone networks) seem to be in trouble. I think we could be within five years of their total collapse. And no, not just land lines (already about 25% of their peak in much of the US), but _all_ direct-dialed phones: mobile and VOIP included.
The problem, as I'd written before, is paradoxically the _low_ cost of calls. This is inducing tremendous volumes of junk calls, with one ...
... robocaller admitting to 57 million phone calls in an FTC report.
Online discussions of robocalls are filled with comments telling of how the writer no longer answers unknown numbers, or checks voice mail, if they have service at all.
And businesses are getting hit with both robocalls, to the point of putting lives at risk, and scams, costing dollars. Thousands per day.
Here in New Zealand we've been getting hit with complete fraud robocalls - mostly scary recorded voices saying THIS IS [$actual Internet company who they aren't] WE ARE CUTTING OFF YOUR INTERNET and if you pick up you get routed to some ridiculous pay-per-minute thing in some foreign country, and of course the number's faked. Either that or HI WE ARE MICROSOFT (they aren't) PLEASE TO INSTALL OUR MALWARE.
It's only become a massive plague in the last.. three years, I think?
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