Of course there are those that simply see the PSTN as just one more way to
move IP packets about. Lets see; radio, wireless, sat-link, cable, lans,
PSTN, avian-carrier, seismic-wave... lots of ways to move IP packets about.

Yep. So far the only realistic way to move massive amounts of
long-distance traffic is fiber.

the PSTN is one, but not the only one. And its not clear there is enough
capacity in the PSTN to carry all the bits about. Its not clear to me that
ATM will continue to work at terabit rates..

It won't. So what. If you want to purchase a terabit router, write a
conditional purchase order -- you'll get it pretty soon. I'm serious.

SAR may be a bit tough to do at OC768-ish rates.

"Doctor, it hurts when i do that." "Don't do it, then".

And then there is all that PSTN infrastructure that will
have to be replaced...

Yep. It's only money. They already have rights of way.

push all that back on the rate payers? you bet.

There's a lot of money to be made off Internet (i do not mean browsers
and search engines). I'd rather think that capital is quite interested
in the opportunity.