The End of the Public Phone Network
More and more businesses and households are trading their traditional switched telephone service for voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services. That's led to a paradoxical situation, where a huge number of phone calls start out as Internet packets and end up as Internet packets, but have to be switched to, and then from, a voice circuit on the old-school public switched telephone network. Universal Internet Protocol would allow telecom companies to meet the same demand with much less equipment. Seeing the possible financial benefits - including turning suddenly redundant real estate into cash - AT&T, the largest phone service provider in the world, called on the U.S. government to set a final date for the last plain old telephone call. "Techwise Conversations" host Steven Cherry talks with Daniel Berninger, founder of the Voice Communication Exchange Committee. This Washington, D.C.-based telecom advisory group has chosen the date for the completion of the transition to the Internet Protocol.