The world of landlines for the phone companies is a diminishing return. Telcos hold on to every revenue stream until the very end. I mean, Bell Labs discovered ISDN and DSL in the mid-1960's, but it took years to make it to market. Why cannibalize the $1500 T1 business?
Today, the landline voice business is diminishing. (Every quarterly report marks the decline). The cellcos have all released $100 Unlimited plans. Landline replacement might creep up.
One reason ILECs bundle DSL is to stall the slide. Only recently have consumers been given a choice of Naked DSL. That choice was mostly at the behest of the FCC in the AT&T-BellSouth merger. (However, AT&T makes the consumer jump through hoops to get it.)
Last week, Verizon was accused by the MSO's of misusing CPNI information for retention purposes. Customer Propriety Name Info was a hot issue last year over customer records being sold online. Telcos were supposed to tighten up CPNI rules. They have --- for everyone but their own employees, who have used the customer databases as a marketing tool.
Verizon, Sprint, and Alltel have spun off their landline business. Alltel became Windstream, which later acquired a smaller ILEC named CTC in NC. Verizon was able to "sell" off its rural New England division to tiny FairPoint. Sprint spun off its wireline business and named it Embarq. The focus is on cellular.
To stave off some landline loss, Embarq is rolling out a new landline phone - eGo.
"The new eGo product is a cordless phone which connects via DSL and offers visual voice mail and news flashes, Dow Jones reports. It will also offer a local business directory enquiries service and an online phone book." [source]
The landline business is consolidating to shore up declining revenue. (Telcos always think scale is the answer). At least, now a few telcos are trying to be innovative - with wireless overlays and new handsets.