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IP: Pac Bell says Net use may collapse phone system (fwd)

  James Love wrote in a message to Mike Bilow:
   JL>    The telephone system was built to handle phone calls
   JL> averaging four    minutes long, Parker said. But most people
   JL> connecting to the Net or an    online service do so for an
   JL> average of 22 minutes. In fact, Pac Bell    said its
   JL> research showed that 10 percent of all Net connections last 
   JL>   an hour or more.
   JL>    In a Pac Bell central office in Santa Clara, 2.5 percent
   JL> of phone    lines accounted for 20 percent to 36 percent of
   JL> the office's total    traffic, the company said. Much of the
   JL> slowdown takes place between 7    p.m. and 11 p.m. -- a
   JL> clear indication that it's Internet use, not    normal
   JL> business calling, that is responsible.
  If those idiots would stop forcing me to buy a virtual circuit in order to make
  a logical circuit, I would be more than happy to stop nailing up their
  switching capacity.  Even ISDN is no real solution for this particular problem,
  since it is circuit switched just like regular analog lines.
  Efficient alternative technologies certainly exist, such as frame relay, but
  the exorbitant pricing on these services drives people away.  Until very
  recently, NYNEX charged a monthly fee for Touch-Tone service, thereby creating
  an economic incentive for people to resist converting from a century-old pulse
  dialing mechanism that caused enormous engineering hassle.
  It costs me nothing beyond airtime rates, which are free on weekends, for me to
  call as far away as southern New Hampshire using my cellular telephone, but I
  have to pay long distance charges if I use my landline telephone.  This creates
  an economic incentive to tie up a number of cellular circuits across three
  states in order to avoid using the conventional landline network.
  Until the telephone companies simply realize that people will do utterly stupid
  things if given the economic incentives to do so, they will continue to see the
  popularity of the Internet as an approaching tidal wave.
  -- Mike