Re: Japan and the Joy of Fax
I concur with all of the above.
When the power is out, POTS works. Even then, incoming and outgoing calls sound crisp and clear.
America's POTS network, like the U.S. Postal Service, should be viewed as a national asset, not a no-longer-trendy encumbrance. Both have been regulated to be reliable and ensure breadth of service. Unfortunately, in recent decades, both have been undermined by profiteers preying on pols sleeping at the wheel.
The concept that profiteers abhor: Regulation. For the good of the public, not the greedy.
The greedy have already shown their colors. Want from a commercial carrier remote letter delivery or cell service? Tough luck, if the business does not see profit in that entire region. (BTW, Bezos knows all about avoiding paying the real costs of "the last mile," especially, in rural areas.)
As for the fax machine, it is simple and elegant for what it does. Like a good toaster, it is cheap and easy to keep around, performing consistently and without complication (such as software updates and other time-wasting nonsense).
As a matter of fact, I recently saved time and effort by signing and faxing a required government form, rather than wasting time to boot a PC, power up a scanner, scan to PDF, add a digitized signature, load a browser, start an e-mail session, upload the PDF document, and send the e-mail to some immemorable address longer than ten digits.