We can't pretend to be able to replace the phone networks until we can
achieve similar reliability. Phone networks typically are spec'ed to
two minutes a year downtime.
Uh huh, while I agree with you that the Internet is not
remotely as stable as voice networks are, I think that
this has a great deal to do with the revenue difference.
Consider that a T3, eating 690 DS0s, at 10 cents/minute/DS0,
is worth ($52560 * 690) some thirty-six million dollars a year
in revenue on the voice network.
I think you will agree that a T3 for Internet connectivity
is not worth a very large fraction of that.
Moreover, a backbone T3 for voice going down costs
(at roughly 10 cents/minute/DS0) $4000/hour in lost
If the money figures for Internet connectivity were anywhere
near the figures for voice, and was billed by use in small
increments, you would expect greater investment in reliability,
as one sees on voice networks.
Frankly, where there is significant competition and little
or no loss-leading and cross-subsidy, the Internet
is precisely as reliable as people are willing to pay for.