Author Topic: Good news & bad news about US robocalls  (Read 697 times)

rcjordan

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Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« on: September 25, 2021, 12:38:39 PM »
Good News: Deadline for phone companies to block robocalls is finally here

Bad News: The law doesn't apply to texts, which has evolved to become the primary communications mode.

https://www.wral.com/deadline-for-phone-companies-to-block-robocalls-is-finally-here/19893112/

I've pretty much chucked my phone.  Works great for us eccentric, reclusive types.


Drastic

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2021, 01:28:59 PM »
So damned annoying. My spam on both sides seem to be about the same. Really hate the texts that come through from an email address as there's no way to block an email in text, yet.

ergophobe

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2021, 04:44:04 PM »
It galls me that I have to pay $11/mo for caller ID in order to make this work. So landlines with caller ID are $51 each now plus various fees. 

I can get a top-notch cell plan for less than that. Every indication is that AT&T would love to just see landlines go away.

rcjordan

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2021, 04:51:39 PM »
AT&T and Frontier have let phone networks fall apart, Calif. regulator finds | Ars Technica
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/02/att-raised-phone-prices-153-as-service-got-steadily-worse-report-finds/

2017: Landline Phones Disappearing in These 20 States
https://www.moneytalksnews.com/landline-phone-disappearing-in-these-20-states/

ergophobe

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2021, 07:51:52 PM »
Wow... I didn't realize it had come to this:

Quote
According to the Chicago Tribune, state legislatures in 20 of those 21 states have given AT&T the OK to end landline service in their states so the telecommunications company can focus and invest more in wireless or internet-based phone networks. California is now the only holdout among states where AT&T is the legacy phone carrier.

As those articles point out, rural areas are not just failing to keep pace with urban areas, our services are actually getting WORSE over time. I think most people here would find it acceptable if AT&T rolled out cell service and then withdrew landlines, but withdrawing landlines without providing an option other than satellite telephone would be horrible.

>>AT&T raised phone prices 153% over a decade

I "only" see a 36% rise in our bill since November 2013. Still, that outpaces official inflation, which would have resulted in only  19% increase over that time period.

rcjordan

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2021, 08:20:22 PM »
"The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes a commitment of $42 billion to deploy broadband where it doesn't yet exist."

Maybe use the landline decay to make a pitch to get broadband.

ergophobe

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2021, 09:07:40 PM »
That's big news around here. Local orgs (county govt and local NGOs) have full-time grant writers tracking that (and other stuff of course).

We'll see what happens. There was a pile of cash early in the Obama admin and AT&T refused to accept any of it, saying that if it had been in their business interest to provide service to those areas, they would have done it already.

To be fair, it is a massive investment for a minimal return. I would say most people here would sign up immediately for $100/mo for reliable 5mbps service with a 250GB cap, but as there will never be more than 300 houses, that means a max upside of $30,000/month in total revenue, and it would require upgrading miles and miles of cables and switches and getting regulatory approval and NEPA/CEQA approvals* and committing to long-term maintenance.

I am afraid no provider wants to be on the hook for that. In other words, even if it gets built with government money and donated for free to a provider, I'm not sure they would even take delivery.

From a business perspective, I don't blame them. They are just following the profits as a for-profit company will do. I just get frustrated when they say they close down an existing service and encourage all customers to "upgrade" to the new service... that they don't offer in our area, especially since their original profitability was a result of being given a market monopoly that they now no longer want.

*This is a major focus of local government - trying to figure out what they can do to simplify and streamline the regulatory aspect so that projects can even be considered.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 09:09:33 PM by ergophobe »

Brad

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2021, 10:24:28 PM »
We need to look at Rural Electrification started by FDR in the 1930's. That's when all those rural electric co-ops were formed.  Same problem as now, big power companies saw no profit in bringing electricity to rural areas.  Rural Electrification solved two Depression era problems: 1. it was infrastructure makework when jobs were scarce, 2. farming was grueling back then, bringing in electricity helped slow the migration of people from farms to the cities.  The trick was the government forced the big electric companies to sell electricity to the co-ops at cost. 

And yes that is really socialism.  But I don't see any farmers lining up to go back to coal stoves and oil lamps.

DO something similar with rural broadband.

ergophobe

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Re: Good news & bad news about US robocalls
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2021, 10:59:42 PM »
And yes that is really socialism.  But I don't see any farmers lining up to go back to coal stoves and oil lamps.

In fact, most of them hate "big government," but their entire water and electric and roads infrastructure is the result of big government. It would *never* have made sense based on ROI for commercial ventures. But somehow or other, the image of big government handouts is the "welfare queen" - single, black and urban.