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    What an excellent enthusiast video. Took me right back to squeaks and squawks.

    It also highlighted the not-hugely-publicised fact that BT, the UK’s monopoly telco infrastructure provider, is switching off POTS in 2025 and replacing it with VOIP to every home, with (according to the video) no real plan for backup emergency calling and no governmental requirements for mobile phone service providers to do it either. And apparently in the last few big power cuts over this winter, due to increasingly frequent adverse weather events, the mobile networks just stopped working because their masts didn’t have enough backup power. So I did a bit of quick reading around and while the operators will be supposed to provide Optical Terminator Kits with batteries (I’m sure that’ll be 100% good in all cases, for sure, no worries about that at all), it seems we don’t even know yet exactly what’s going to happen for telecare services for elderly & vulnerable and they’re currently testing that, even tho they’ve set the deadline fixed for 2025 - but it’s OK because “Ofcom has also made it a requirement for telecoms providers to identify people who are reliant on their landline and provide them with a free back-up option in case there’s a power outage.” So that’s OK then, they’ll definitely make sure they have that covered.

    Regulators asleep at the wheel, governments running with their arms full of cash full speed into the wall.

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      Wait, do you have any proof for these allegations? It makes sense to transition off POTS in most countries with decent POTS infrastructure (like the UK). Maintaining POTS infrastructure is quite costly, and moving to IP based connectivity makes a lot of sense in this day and age where most of the demand for networks is for IP based networks. The closest I found was https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2022/03/isp-bt-pauses-uk-digital-voice-rollout-after-consumer-complaints.html which seems to indicate that BT is well-aware of some of the issues surfacing from the POTS transition and is now taking steps to make sure there aren’t any service disruptions. So what’s the basis of this negativity?

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        Hello! Err, proof for “allegations”? Umm, I reported what it said in the video (note “apparently”), and pointed to a website I found about it, which is Which?, the UK’s main consumer support website that’s really got any credibility. (The bit about OTK was on a BT support forum, a quick google away.) Not sure how far I’m making allegations or particularly need to prove them, but if there’s factual inaccuracy in what I posted, I accept and apologise.

        Basis of “negativity”? Nearly 50 years’ experience of life lived mostly in UK under a succession of governments who time and again champion capital-favouring measures at the expense of public service.

        To me this seems a perfect example of that. I’m sure it does make financial sense to transition off POTS, especially for the bottom line of the private company running the infrastructure that it was gifted from public ownership by the UK government in its fire sale in the ‘80s, regardless of whether it makes sense for the public it’s supposed to serve; I don’t take that as a prima facie reason for allowing it (because I believe that some things are more important than finance and governments should work such that public service benefit should trump private profit every time) but I could even accept it if there was a demonstrated and proven strategy for maintaining the public service elements (e.g. emergency calls and telecare). It said in the video that there aren’t, so I commented on that, and I did some Googling to find out if this was true, and posted a link to what I found.

        Thanks for the link, it’s interesting - I’m sorry to have to say though that I’ve heard things like “private company X is taking steps to make sure there aren’t any service disruptions” so many times before that I just don’t have any faith in such statements, particularly under the current government whose public service priority is reduction in that service at the cost of public benefit to the gain of private interests, as shown repeatedly in the PPE and NHS disasters and manipulation of the last couple of years. If you do have faith in these kinds of statements and the private companies and governments that make them, great, I genuinely hope you’re right, but I’m afraid I’m not holding my breath. Time will tell whether “steps” taken will actually do anything at all, or whether they fail completely to provide any benefit to the public (in this case, by definition vulnerable members of the public in particular) and whether the companies “responsible” will have to deal with even censure, let alone any strand of accountability, if not.

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          Only time will tell, but I think it is very obvious VoIP is much more complicated and easier to break compared to POTS. Of course it’s possible to make VoIP or even Cellular as stable as POTS, especially in times of high stress(natural disasters, etc). The question becomes, will that happen? The incentives are not really there for the providers to do that, POTS wasn’t designed originally to be so reliable, but it’s simplicity made it pretty easy comparatively. It necessitates offloading some of the reliability onto end users(battery maintenance at the very least), which points to things not going well for many, compared to POTS where end-user maintenance was near zero.

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        My first tech job was as tech support for a mom and pop dialup ISP. My second job was as sysadmin/netadmin for a different mom and pop dial up ISP.

        It was romantic in hindsight. It was a different world.

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          If you’re into this stuff, Cathode Ray Dude is a recommendable channel on retro tech topics.

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            My first internships where at a small local dialup (and early adsl) ISP. Though this particular one was somewhat dubious and not very qualitative (even compared to others at the time). Learned a lot though, and happy to have some early cable internet at home around that time, though that was also with serial-port connected modems, which in practice would reach about 4KB/sec.