Internet vs. Telephone company

My question is: Have other people heard of similar attempts by the
telephone companies to have "metered Internet access"? It seems they
would need a hardware level signal analyzer on their switching equipment
to differentiate between voice/data. Does anyone know by what means such
a technology could be implemented? What would be the legal ramifications?

Old stuff... They're always trying to push special modem lines off on

Also do people agree with the claims that our local lack of available
phone lines is due to Internet usage or just to lack of foresight in
growth management decisions?

half and half. The telecommunications infrastructure was designed to
service X number of people with exactly 15% of the phones being off
hook at any given time. i think we can all agree that net calls are up
longer than perhaps 95% of voice calls. Each of these calls occupies a
path from the customer's CO to the provider's CO. The provider's CO
has to have this monstrouc hunt group programmed in their switch. This
switch has to have enough paths to support this group. Honestly..
before internet stuff became big business, whoever heard of a 900 line
hunt group?

One thing to note is that there are dozens of CO's in each of the
larger cities and one or more switches in each CO with millions of
pairs of copper and fiber all around. Upgrading the infrastructure to
support this new demand is NOT going to be easy and it's NOT gonna be
cheap... which means it ain't gonna happen soon enough. Afterall, ISDN
just (in the last year or so) really began to take off.. it was being
sold as many as 10 years ago. Ameritech is advertizing ADSL on their
web page now even. (Not sure where thats gonna go though.)

With new technology comes new services, what cool new things are gonna
happen before this major upgrade can happen that are gonna throw the
whole thing outta whack? Its a touch time to be a telco..