The question remains, will PSTN still have life in it, after VoIP gains greater than 50% market capitalisation?
Previously, I have stated that my current stance on this is the PSTN should be always used where appropriate, due to calls to 000, and so forth. Sorry, but VoIP just doesn’t have the same reliability that PSTN does. You can pick up your PSTN line, and be very sure you’ll get a dial tone, and very much sure you’ll get a outbound line to wherever you like.
The issue remains, if you have good reception, a good mobile, plenty of battery life, continuously, and maintain your mobile, to a good quality, should you keep your PSTN line, if you don’t need it for broadband purposes.
On one side, the cost saving side, the answer is “No”. It’d be seldom used, and serve more as a door stop / cash disposal. The other side says, the cautious side, the technology can break side, the let’s not put all eggs in one basket side, don’t disconnect your PSTN line. It’s a measure of “What if’s”.
What if the mobile is flat?
What if the mobile is broken?
What if the mobile is lost?
What if VoIP is down?
What if bandwidth is low?
What if the net is down?
I guess the real issue is, if a combination of those factors rolled into one would affect you.
Would your mobile, and a second mobile be disabled, at the same time as your internet connection?
Would your power be out, at the same time as your mobile flat?
The likelihood isn’t that likely. In all honesty, you’d be pretty careless cutting off your phone service, by not charging a mobile or something like that.
The real case here, and a sticking point for Telstra, which will likely be their own selling point is, how sure are you that none of those events will happen in the need of a 000 level emergency? More to it, what’s the likelihood of:
1. The power being out.
2. Your mobile being flat.
3. Your second mobile being flat.
4. A 000 emergency..
.. happening simultaneously?
It just doesn’t seem likely, of course, until a situation like that happens.
Those with ADSL at this time don’t have a problem, they are forced to keep a connected line, regardless.
Those with other forms of broadband can easily be tempted to do away with the PSTN line, I suspect as more and more users discover VoIP, this question will arise more often. I doubt we’ll see many throwing PSTN lines away yet. And if it does happen a lot, I suspect Telstra to fight back with a basic, “keep connected” offer, which will mean $5 or so a month for a soft connected line, as “insurance”. Makes sense to me.
Counter arguments have also been thought of, example, cordless phone being flat, no line powered phone being available.
The situations would be unique, but still, it’s a question that might need to have some sort of directions aimed at it, in the interests of consumer safety.