Dim copper is a useful new meme from Bob Frankston.

He points out telephone calls use a lot less than one percent of the carrying capacity of the copper lines that already come into our homes. We’re nowhere near using them to the extent that we should. Why are we worrying about lighting dark fiber or deploying even more fiber?

Bob’s analysis sheds some light on why the telephone access monopolies are unhappy with the FCC’s decision to deregulate new lines, but insure competitive access to existing lines. In the two years since they last thought that was a good idea, they’ve probably realized that the future belongs to copper.