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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.