Wednesday, May 30, 2007

AT&T Worldnet founder predicts universal residential wireless broadband by 2012

For those of you wondering when you'll ever get DSL, AT&T Worldnet founder Tom Evslin has a prediction: probably never. The reason: residential land line service will all but disappear by 2012 as telcos abandon the foundation of the U.S. telecommunications system, copper cable.

Rather than wimpy DSL that can't reliably propagate more than three miles from the phone company central office, Evslin prognosticates, homeowners will get broadband via WiFi-enabled mobile phone services. “Trust me, by 2012 we’ll all have wireless hotspots in our homes by one means or another,” Evslin wrote.

Evslin points to the high cost of maintaining copper cable in less densely populated areas and the continuing decline of residential land lines as people migrate to mobile phones as their primary telephone number.

Evslin could be onto something. Just last week, AT&T sent out a market research survey to gauge interest in a potential product called Unify that would combine voice and Internet service and chose either a wireline or wireless broadband connection depending upon the subscriber's location.

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