The local exchange telecommunications industry is faced with enormous change and monumental levels of obsolescence in its legacy infrastructure. Key developments:
- Transition from the legacy narrowband network of circuit switches and copper cables to a broadband network of VoIP packet switches and fiber optics. This transition will largely be complete between 2015 and 2020.
- Rapidly increasing demand for bandwidth, especially for video, is increasing network requirements and hastening the technology obsolescence and reducing remaining lives of existing network assets.
- Dramatic access line losses have occurred in the local exchange, resulting in stranded plant with wireless, cable telephony and VoIP are displacing wireline usage and access lines.
- The telcos’ first generation residential broadband solution, DSL, is obsolete and is being replaced by broadband technologies with higher data rates.
- The largest local exchange carrier, AT&T, has announced plans to phase out its legacy in areas covering 25% of the households in its service area (and a much larger percentage of its area in square miles and investment.)
TFI publishes industry asset life recommendations for the local exchange industry as part of its TTFG mission, now under the CTFG. TFI does not publish industry-wide percent good tables for the local exchange industry generally, but it does provide tables for individual firms based on the above factors as they relate to each firm’s specific situation.