Anatomy of a Landline Loss

Every so often I come across an article which says things like, land line losses for the Baby Bells are around 10,000 a day as more and more folks switch from regular PSTN to wireless, cable or some other form of VoIP service. But its always a number, and hard to comprehend on a human level. Yesterday, I realized that a lot of this land losses might be self inflicted for the Bell operating companies. A friend of mine recently changed residences. She asked SBC Communications to change her phone line and also switch her DSL connection to her new apartment. SBC promised to do it, but a couple of days later, when the switch hadn’t happened, she called them again. After spending nearly 45 minutes on the phone, she discovered that they will turn on the phone line, but not DSL.

Why? After all her house was no further from the central office than her neighbors in the same Victorian. Instead she was told that the SBC central office was maxed out on DSL connections, and there was a little chance the company was going to spend money for 10-15 people and putting more gear. I am assuming it is a DSLAM which I admit does cost a lot of money. My friend, decided to call Comcast, and two days later was using her broadband connection and using VoIP-by-Vonage. Good bye SBC… forever. That’s about $600-a-year in lost revenues for the phone company. And if there were ten people like my friend, the numbers do seems to add-up. Nevertheless it is quite bizarre, since SBC is being quite aggressive and offering bargain prices to attract DSL users. Is this the right kind of penny pinching? Are you aware of others who have experienced similar challenge and decided to switch to the cable companies? Leave you story in the comments!

Photo by CrotchetOx via Flickr