[FoRK] PSTN and regs

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Feb 9 23:35:58 PST 2014

Wired is failing in many places because of copper thieves.  Wired lines are more fragile and wireless overall.
Doesn't seem like fiber has the same fate, so rewiring everyone with fiber is the main alternative.  (I should have fiber to the 
house in Sunnyvale in the next month or two!  We've been on fixed-wireless for a year while we waited.  Overall, it's been fine, 
but it's no longer available to new customers after Sprint/Softbank finished purchasing Clear.)

Run enough concentrated power and you can punch through anything. Use a line of sight laser if you have to.  A highly 
directional phase-based antenna with huge dynamic range would solve this. Phased array picocasting is something like this.


On 2/9/14 8:38 PM, dan at geer.org wrote:
> Some if not most of you have seen this:
> AT&T plan to shut off Public Switched Telephone Network moves ahead at FCC
> http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/att-plan-to-shut-off-public-switched
> -telephone-network-moves-ahead-at-fcc/
> and, in it, I refer to this excerpt:
>     AT&T wants to get rid of obsolete PSTN equipment, and those pesky
>     FCC rules.  The type of technology used would be up to the
>     carrier. In rural areas where it's expensive to wire up every
>     home, carriers might try to shift everyone to wireless service.
>     AT&T has said that in 25 percent of its customer locations,
>     "it's currently not economically feasible to build a competitive
>     IP wireline network," so it would use 4G LTE instead "to offer
>     voice and high-speed IP Internet services."
>     There will be concerns about reliability of wireless services,
>     particularly during power outages, but the FCC official said
>     Wheeler isn't reflexively for or against wireless as a replacement
>     for the PSTN.
> As I've written elsewhere, I have begun to opt out of various
> new services as, to my analysis anyway, their downside issues
> outweigh their upsides.  I will not use a radio to communicate
> in the way that is now being hypothecated, and my living
> arrangements will soon be decidedly more rural than even they
> are now.
> For this audience, I do not need to catalog the attack surface
> growth or even the failure mode proliferations that follow
> replacing a low tech, fully amortized copper plant that carries
> its own power and works under near total bandwidth degradation.
> I probably do not need to point out that what is said to be "not
> economically feasible" in 2014 was, comparatively speaking, far
> less feasible in the 1930s when the PSTN went in.
> Some if not most of you are using mobile phones for which, as we
> know, baseband attacks have no mitigation.  Some if not most of
> you have the habit of rolling your own in various ways that
> might well include running copper wire from punchdown blocks.
> Some if not most of you have some degree of admiration for, if
> not quiet imitation of, the prepper community.  Some if not most
> of you do, in fact, choose services only after consideration of
> the downside v. upside that goes well beyond "Is it free?"
> When the ocean begins to pull away from the shore, run like hell
> in the opposite direction.
> --dan

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