How many still have a land line phone?

  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1599

    Dec 31, 2017 3:54 AM GMT
    I was wondering because by now I would think the vast majority have cell phones and have dropped their land line. I've had my land line disconnected since 2003.
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    Dec 31, 2017 12:00 PM GMT
    I still have mine, but I did transfer it from the phone company to my ISP.
  • argus

    Posts: 1441

    Dec 31, 2017 3:40 PM GMT
    Like paradox I have a landline served by my ISP. It is significantly cheaper than going mobile, and I am not of the generation that is lost without their phone. No apps. I've never taken a picture of my food.
  • outdoorsmuscl...

    Posts: 2475

    Dec 31, 2017 3:51 PM GMT
    No landline, no cable tv . I don't even write checks. I have eliminated most snail mail since it is just wasted paper that impacts the environment. I do have an iphone, mac and pc.

    ChicagoSteve saidI was wondering because by now I would think the vast majority have cell phones and have dropped their land line. I've had my land line disconnected since 2003.
  • argus

    Posts: 1441

    Dec 31, 2017 3:56 PM GMT
    I'm leery of paperless billing. I did it and I would not get bills, then get hit with late charges, requiring me to phone and find out why "oh sometimes that happens... Nice con. do it to all your clients = free win-fall!! They would cancel the late fees but eventually I decided to hell with it and demanded a paper bill (just because it costs them money and I'm petty.)
  • argus

    Posts: 1441

    Dec 31, 2017 3:58 PM GMT
    Interesting side effect of having a landline:


    I am often polled.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18249

    Dec 31, 2017 4:54 PM GMT
    I havent had a landline phone since 2000.
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    Dec 31, 2017 5:15 PM GMT
    We need a land line here. We use a DSL modem/router for our Internet and WiFi, because the cable in this area is even slower and less reliable. Comcast seems in no hurry to upgrade their cable lines & equipment, so until that happens we'll stick with what we've got. It's also why we have satellite TV rather than cable, which likewise sucks with Comcast service.

    Plus our condo building's outside intercom and door control is through our land line phones. That was made convertible to cellular last year for those who wish it, but I hear other residents have had mixed results using that alternative.

    Lastly, we still fax a fair amount to other fax machines, which remain an office staple in this area. While there are also alternatives to a phone line for faxing, as long as we keep the land line for our other purposes, I prefer to simply plug the fax into the phone wall jack. Certainly less convoluted than a fax software Internet solution, given that our internet is carried on the same phone line, anyway.
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    Dec 31, 2017 6:00 PM GMT
    Land line offers some redundancy to cell service during natural or man-made disasters.

    If this is not important to you why else have a land line?
    - Some home security services want to connect with a land line.
    - You have a fax machine
    - You need DSL to get a home internet connection and you don't want to tether with your cell phone (although this can be blazing fast).
    - ....

    Depending on your wireless carrier you may not be able to complete calls if the local cell tower is overwhelmed or if it loses power.

    Land line central switches have battery backup and can operate for a while without power.

    Both types of circuits usually have some sort of emergency generator power backup but this too can fail.
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    Dec 31, 2017 6:06 PM GMT
    art_deco saidWe need a land line here. We use a DSL modem/router for our Internet and WiFi, because the cable in this area is even slower and less reliable. Comcast seems in no hurry to upgrade their cable lines & equipment, so until that happens we'll stick with what we've got. It's also why we have satellite TV rather than cable, which likewise sucks with Comcast service.

    Plus our condo building's outside intercom and door control is through our land line phones. That was made convertible to cellular last year for those who wish it, but I hear other residents have had mixed results using that alternative.

    Lastly, we still fax a fair amount to other fax machines. While there are also alternatives to a phone line for faxing, as long as we keep the land line for our other purposes, I prefer to simply plug the fax into the phone wall jack. Certainly less convoluted than a fax software Internet solution, given that our internet is carried on the same phone line, anyway.


    I don't get it... you live in an urban area with millions of potential customers, and no one can be arsed enough to put in some decent broadband. But, in my little town of 10,000 in rural Iowa, in addition to DSL and Mediacom, there are two fiber optic networks to choose from. I live 4 miles outside of town, but back in 2003, I had two and a half miles of fiber buried out to the house. It's astounding to me that an urban area would be a shitty broadband ghetto.
  • barefootlover

    Posts: 566

    Dec 31, 2017 6:59 PM GMT
    I don't really like smart phones because I only use the internet when I am home. I have a bundle package that gives me landline phone, DSL internet, and HD TV and its all in one low bill. For emergencies, I have a Trac phone, which I rarely use. It saves me a lot of money over these expensive monthly bills for smart phones and cable TV. Our phone book is very big yet and is all landline numbers.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 2100

    Dec 31, 2017 7:07 PM GMT
    I have a land line (provided by my ISP) but I don't have a phone attached to it, just an answering machine.

    When I built my house in 2007 I chose to get DSL internet service through Verizon, the local land line provider. They had just finished laying fiber optic lines down my street but had not yet installed a terminal, so there was no way for me to hook up to it. Getting the copper land line installed was a nightmare. It took about a month, with repeated visits by their service techs. And every time I called to complain or ask when the hell they were coming back to finish the job, they'd try to sell me their fiber service, even though I already knew - but somehow they didn't - it was not yet available.

    Verizon later sold their landline and ISP business to another company. I tried getting rid of my land line a few years ago but I was told that I couldn't, unless I switched from DSL to fiber. Apparently they still support DSL only for pre-existing customers, and if I made any change at all to my service, I wouldn't be allowed to keep my DSL. Considering how much trouble it was to get the service I already have, I didn't want to change over to fiber and maybe go another month of bullshit again.

    So, for $22 per month I kept my land line but unplugged the phone. It's basically an emergency backup, and a decoy for the endless parade of scammers and telemarketers.
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    Dec 31, 2017 8:15 PM GMT
    argus saidI'm leery of paperless billing. I did it and I would not get bills, then get hit with late charges, requiring me to phone and find out why "oh sometimes that happens... Nice con. do it to all your clients = free win-fall!! They would cancel the late fees but eventually I decided to hell with it and demanded a paper bill (just because it costs them money and I'm petty.)


    Fuck paperless billing. Even with hard copy being issued monthly, one of my long time credit cards all of a sudden had two monthly statements returned to them due to "insufficient address" or something of that nature. After having lived and been a customer of theirs at the same address for 10 years??? As well as having my e-mail addy? Nothing "petty" on your part.
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    Jan 01, 2018 12:27 AM GMT
    paradox said
    I don't get it... you live in an urban area with millions of potential customers, and no one can be arsed enough to put in some decent broadband. But, in my little town of 10,000 in rural Iowa, in addition to DSL and Mediacom, there are two fiber optic networks to choose from. I live 4 miles outside of town, but back in 2003, I had two and a half miles of fiber buried out to the house. It's astounding to me that an urban area would be a shitty broadband ghetto.

    I don't get it either. Nor, apparently, does Comcast.

    I presume part of the problem is that this was an area that had cable TV installed many years ago, pre-broadband. In fact, I'm not sure if the present Comcast installed it, or an earlier cable company. There's less incentive for Comcast to upgrade their existing infrastructure, when they're devoting their resources to modern installations for the constant new development we have here . It's my guess many of its existing customers are elderly retired, who think anything better than a rooftop antenna or rabbit ears with 4 or 5 channels is great.

    And the Internet connection rides on that TV cable. But what's broadband? Is that like a dance band with all female musicians?

    Likewise, our AT&T phone wires are not the best, either. They keep promising us faster DSL speeds if we take an upgrade. But when I agree to it, they subsequently inform me they realized their old equipment won't support those higher speeds. A mistake in their blanket marketing, I'm told. But they assure me that "soon" they'll upgrade our area to fast fiber optic. They've been "sooning" me for about 5 years now. And even then I'm not sure our condo's ancient internal phone wires won't be a choke point. But AT&T says that's the condo association's responsibility, not theirs.

    But wait - it gets better! Our electrical service also sucks. With several power failures a month. Meaning all our electronic devices without battery backup (oven, microwave, coffee maker, some clocks, etc), must be reset each time. Fortunately not extended outages, but once they hit you never know, as you sit there waiting in the dark.

    FPL's (Florida Power & Light) solution? Not upgrade their system. Of course not. Instead they tell you to lease multiple battery backups from them or buy your own, AND pay for their insurance to cover any damages caused by THEIR power surges. Meaning that WE have to pay extra for THEIR mistakes and for operating a weak system.

    What's particularly strange to me is that I lived for 11 years in North Dakota. Having one of the toughest winter climates in the US, virtually Artic at times. With high winds and paralyzing blizzards. Where most of the electrical lines are exposed above ground. And we almost never had power outages despite those challenges, except sometimes with a tornado, which weren't that common.

    Yet the entire population of vast North Dakota is only 650,000, much of it in isolated rural farming communities. Whereas our Broward County, Florida, which includes Fort Lauderdale, is nearly 2 million. That's 3 times larger than a whole State where I almost never experienced power outages, poor cable service, or phone interruptions like we have in this county.

    Many people here claim that the State utilities agencies and the legislature who have oversight and regulatory authority are in the hip pockets of the same coporations they're supposed to oversee. But with decades of overwhelming State control by 1 political party, no investigations are ever started, no questions formally passed out of committees. But we're also reminded that by eliminating "burdensome" regulations the State is saving consumers money.

    I'll have to remember that next time I'm sitting in the dark, or resetting half our clocks for the 3rd time in a month, or waiting for hours for Internet service to return. I can use that unexpected downtime to count all the nonexistent savings the politicians tell me I've made, from their working for my voter interests. icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 01, 2018 1:13 AM GMT
    I also have one, "sort of" through my ISP. I use Voipo which is essentially the same as you'd get with your ISP except it's a separate service and probably a lot cheaper; I think I'm paying less than $8 a month. I also get a lot of telemarketers but Voipo is using Nomorobo so I can tell when one calls because I get one ring and then no more rings. I wish I could configure it to get zero rings since I really don't care to know when one has been blocked. But Voipo has a really nice web page that shows all my calls, both incoming and outgoing, and I can click on an incoming number and mark it to be blocked or give them a busy signal, so I give them a busy signal. All of the ones that have been blocked by Nomorobo show a 1 second duration and the ones I've marked for a busy signal show 0 seconds so it's easy to see which ones I can click on to busy out.

    One thing I hate about cell phones is how they block one side of the conversation so if you start talking when the other person is talking it mutes them. It's likely a cost cutting measure since they'll only need to transmit data for one person talking. With a land line both sides can talk at the same time. Although some ISP phone services do the same thing (e.g., Comcast/Xfinity).
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    Jan 01, 2018 4:04 PM GMT
    Muskelprotz said
    Land line offers some redundancy to cell service during natural or man-made disasters.

    That can be true, but not always. This past Fall Hurricance Irma knocked our power out for almost 5 days, for 10 days in other neighborhoods just a block from us. And we did lose our land line service, while we kept our cellular service. The same thing happened in 2005 with Hurricane Wilma - lost the land line service, while the cellular kept operating.

    Provided you could charge your cell phones, which we can in our case with auxiliary batteries, solar, and even hand-cranked generators if we must. In our condo we can't have our own gas-powered generators.

    But I agree that redundancy can still be good insurance in locales such as ours. Why we also have NOAA weather/AM-FM portable radios that can likewise operate independent of the electric grid for extended periods.

    It was kinda funny in the days after Irma. As I mentioned, electrical service was weirdly patchy. Power on one side of a street, dark for a week longer on the other side. One of our favorite gay haunts got power restored by the second day after, while our condo still had none. So we went there to eat cooked food and have cold drinks, hang out with friends, watch TV, and... recharge all our mobile devices, looking after our little children.

    You'd see every wall outlet, 2 & 4 plug, totally full of charging bricks, the devices scattered all around, sucking down that precious juice. Cell phones. tablets. laptops, even some Apple watches like ours, and our weather radios, too. (Although as a last resort we also have some self-winding automatic wristwatches, 100% mechanical old technology and totally independent of electricity in any form)

    I contrasted that to over 60 years ago, when I remember our family dealing with hurricanes, armed with flashlight batteries, candles and kerosene for the lamps. And for Irma I did collect all our own candles in 1 place, about 50 of them for ready use (it being too late to go hunting for candles when it becomes total darkness), as our final backup. But no kerosene.

    And BTW, when I went through my first hurricanes as a child, transistor portable radios were still a few years away from becoming common (beginning around 1957). So you lost all communication in a power outage. Unless your telephone lines stayed up, and cellular being over 30 years in the future.
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    Jan 01, 2018 6:30 PM GMT
    Most high-speed internet services in the UK are routed via landline phone cables, for which you have to pay a line rental, so it often makes sense to retain a landline phone. I pay just £4 per month for unlimited free evening and weekend landline calls, so it's a no-brainer really.
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    Jan 01, 2018 7:59 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    Most high-speed internet services in the UK are routed via landline phone cables, for which you have to pay a line rental, so it often makes sense to retain a landline phone. I pay just £4 per month for unlimited free evening and weekend landline calls, so it's a no-brainer really.

    What happened to your telly tax? Does that still exist, or rolled up into the cable charge? Only apply to antenna reception (or satellite now, too), or do those broadcasts even still exist?
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    Jan 01, 2018 9:12 PM GMT
    art_deco said
    What happened to your telly tax? Does that still exist, or rolled up into the cable charge? Only apply to antenna reception (or satellite now, too), or do those broadcasts even still exist?


    The TV licence fee is still the principal source of funding for the BBC. If you watch live television transmissions as they are being broadcast (by whatever means) you must have a TV licence. It is generally felt that, in the long-term, BBC broadcast content will follow the subscription model of Netflix, Amazon Prime etc - but that probably won't happen for another 10 years.
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    Jan 01, 2018 9:40 PM GMT
    paradox saidI still have mine, but I did transfer it from the phone company to my ISP.


    Then you no longer have a landline, you have VOIP (Voice Over IP). You transferred the number, not the landline.

    Verizon owns the majority of landline service directly and through its GTE subsidiaries. Verizon is phasing in petitioning the FCC to eliminate landline service state by state and force customers to take FIOS. In states where Verizon doesn't want the business, their trying to sell the GTE subsidiaries with difficulty finding buyers.
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    Jan 01, 2018 10:23 PM GMT
    Infact we have two, one each, in our dens.
    As well, a smart phone each.
    Don't use my Smart Phone much at home.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 4050

    Jan 16, 2018 12:17 AM GMT
    voip. my house is too big to run after a cell phone i could barely hear. i have a phone in every room .
  • jeep334

    Posts: 548

    Jan 23, 2018 2:43 PM GMT
    I have a land line and cell as well. I have my internet through the land line (DSL) which I find acceptable. I originally had Time Warner which included the phone (which is really not a land line), internet and cable. The internet was fine but the phone and the cable were pretty bad. Too many outages and interruptions. Service was pretty non-existent as well. I saw an offer from AT&T to get Directv coupled with a Verizon land line and have been very pleased with the result. I allowed the voice mail on the land line to fill up with marketing calls and now I get very few calls on that line at all using the system simply for a backup phone service and a source for internet. Directv is beyond awesome as far a quality although it's frustrating talking with someone in Asia every time I need to speak to someone concerning the service although I imagine that's true with most other companies. Cost wise I have found that the package I have with Directv, about $10 a month cheaper than Time Warner was.