NY Times points out in 1968 "over the objections of AT&T, the F.C.C. ruled that consumers could plug it or any phone or accessory into the network so long as doing so did no harm to the network. The ruling set in motion the changes that provided consumers with a cornucopia of equipment choices like answering machines, fax machines, modems and cordless phones."
40 years later, AT&T descendants are using similar arguments to preclude "third party" gadgets from accessing their cellular networks. Verizon Wireless contends "that Google’s proposals (for open access) would open its network to phones that Verizon had not approved and “that cannot reliably communicate with law enforcement,” a grave problem “in an era of heightened national security concerns.”
In the mean time, not sure whether it is related to the iPhone demand spike, but the AT&T Wireless (Cingular site) has been down quite a bit. I have checked it each day for our latest bill which was supposed to have been posted on 19th. As I wrote here, more portability across carriers would be good. The ability to pay by the drink as with on-line music services would be even better.
Because, speaking of security concerns, today's monthly cellular bills do cause plenty of panic attacks in the US.