On the origin of open phone lines
Thanks to the historic Carterfone decision, an FTC edict that forced AT&T to accept third-party devices on its network, you and I can connect any regulatory-compliant device to a telephone line, whether it’s a handset, a fax machine, a DSL modem… Despite AT&T’s noisy objections and dire predictions of technical trouble, sanity prevailed. A customer cannot be barred from “using devices which serve his convenience…provided any such device so used would not endanger the safety of telephone company employees or the public…”
And now the FCC is working on a proposal that’ll do the same thing to cable television. A little bit late to be super-relevant, but it’d be a nice feature to see in the next Apple TV or something.