AT&T asks FCC to phase out landline regulations

A day without landline phones? Some may say that's inevitable, but it looks like AT&T is now starting to try to speed things up a bit, with it recently responding to an FCC request for comments with a 32-page filing that details its position on the matter. That more or less boils down to two major requests: that the FCC eliminate the regulatory requirements that it support a landline network, and that it provide a firm deadline for phasing it out. To back up that request, AT&T has provided the FCC with a whole host of statistics that paint a bleak picture for landlines, including the fact that less than 20% of Americans rely exclusively on switched-access lines for voice service (though plenty more still use them as their primary voice service), that at least 18 million homes now use a VoIP service, and that those two numbers are fast growing in opposite directions. Needless to say, such a change would have a broad range of regulatory implications, and AT&T isn't providing answers for everything -- like exactly how it expects that last mile of users to transition away from landlines, or how to deal with issues of public safety or those with disabilities.