Seems like old wired telephones may be going the way of the Edison light bulbs, in favor of newer technology. AT&T and others are trying to cut the cord on the old analog telephone system that has been used for generations, with a coordinated campaign to change telecommunications law, state by state.
In Illinois, the industry wants to rescind a state requirement
that it maintain those copper-wire networks. In terms of just
residential phone lines that use traditional telephone technology,
just 1.3 million are left in Illinois today. At the same time, the
number of wireless subscribers in Illinois has climbed from about
5.6 million in 2001 to about 12.8 million by the end of 2013.
Some major carriers, including AT&T, are designated in the
current law as “carriers of last resort,” meaning they are
obligated by law to maintain those copper analog landlines within
their service areas. The companies say it is a matter of giving
consumers what they want, cell phones, broadband, and other
21st-century digital options instead of keeping their capital tied
up in the telecom equivalent of a horse-and-buggy system.
In 2011, Missouri eliminated its previous “carrier of last resort”
obligation on carriers in St. Louis County, St. Louis, and Kansas
City. In 2014, Michigan joined more than 30 other states that have
passed or are considering laws that restrict state-government
oversight and eliminate "carrier of last resort" mandates,
effectively ending the universal-service guarantee that gives
every US resident access to physical wire-line telephone service.