AT&T's 'Exciting' Experiment: Kill Town's Landline
What's happening in Carbon Hill, Ala., a sign of things to come nationwide
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 8, 2014 8:50 AM CDT
AT&T may push an Alabama town into the future.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Some 40% of US households no longer use landline phones, and in an Alabama town, they could soon disappear entirely. In what the Wall Street Journal calls an "experiment," AT&T is looking to rid the town—as well as part of Delray Beach, Fla.—of landlines in favor of wireless and high-speed services. Pending official approval, AT&T could, starting as soon as June, remove the possibility of a landline for new customers. But as you might expect, not every resident of Carbon Hill, Ala., is happy about what the company calls "an exciting opportunity."

"Some of them like their landline, and they like it just the way it is," says the Carbon Hill city clerk. Also concerned: other telecom companies. Firms like EarthLink, for instance, depend on copper lines laid by AT&T and Verizon, while Sprint is concerned about AT&T's prices; landlines are more heavily regulated than the newer services, the Journal notes. "By changing some widget in the network, these guys are saying they can throw the rule book in the trash," says an EarthLink rep. The AARP, meanwhile, worries that services like 911 could be harder to reach without reliable landlines. The FCC, however, has already agreed to allow experiments in reducing the service.

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Apr 15, 2014 11:18 AM CDT
If AT&T know what they are doing how come they bought out the #1 Cable provider in the US and had to sell it in a few years to the #3 provider (Comcast). They also told one of the senior board members (John Malone) Old man go sit in the corner we know what we are doing! Well now all the Cable Companies pay John Malone #1 stock holder & CEO in Liberty Media group who own Starz entertainment!
Apr 15, 2014 10:51 AM CDT
Anyone remember when cell service was first being talk about we were going to have small cell areas no bigger than 1 mile in most areas in the cities they would only be a few hundred feet better coverage can serve more people. Then it came down to it Oh we can not do that "equipment cost"! Then came along digital and AT&T was one of the first to start refusing to allow new analog service (Increase phone sales) and none of the cell companies want you to switch to their competitor so they have the phone lock to their service, so you can not use your phone with their competitor even had the law fix so it was harder to switch without buying a new phone! They even got Apple to go along with their little plan! If you have an Apple phone and get it unlock and you get a message later on that an up grade to the phone software needs to be done you go ahead and put in the upgrade and you now have a paper weight! The upgrade has the phone lock up and the only way to fix it is to send it to Apple who charges you and you voided your Warranty (Unauthorized modification)!
Apr 11, 2014 6:57 AM CDT
it's actual term for landline is COPPER line!! also i will go back to the line of string with 2 cans on each end!! take that AT&T.