Why I need a land line.

Old Jun 29th, 2024, 03:28 PM
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Why I need a land line.

Last evening we were in our Connecticut cottage from which you can see Fisher’s Island NY and on a clear day Long Island can be seen through thee low spots on Fisher’s. We needed an ambulance so DH dialed 911 from his cellphone. The call was picked up by an emergency dispatcher on Long Island who thought the call was from a caller there. It took several minutes to straighten things out and transfer the call to Connecticut. Fortunately, no one was bleeding or not breathing and the ambulance came and everyone is ok.

I don’t know if it was an anomaly in the atmosphere or if the closest cell tower is in New York, but today we have a land line in case minutes matter next time.
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Old Jun 29th, 2024, 06:52 PM
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I'm a bit of a troglodyte when it comes to phones. Was still using a flip phone until maybe 2012 or 13 and still have a land line (and and answering machine and 4 phones in various parts of the house). Most of my friends/relatives got rid of their landlines ages ago but I never will. A very small cost for the added security. In the last year both my cell service and wired service have been down for more than a day at least twice each.

Hope your emergency worked out OK
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Old Jun 29th, 2024, 09:14 PM
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At one point we were contemplating ditching our landline. Then we experienced an earthquake here that cut power and cell service out for one day. We received several calls on our landline from friends and relatives on the mainland states asking if we were alright. We still have that landline for just such events and as the OP said for emergencies.

janisj, guess I also belong to the troglodyte club.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 05:14 AM
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I am also a member of the troglodyte club. Heck, I didn't get a smart phone until 2020. Until then I had my little flip phone that didn't even have a camera.
I will not give up my land line. Although, when the power is out, my land line doesn't work either since Verizon FIOS went digital.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 07:40 AM
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Another troglodyte here. We've never not had a landline and have no intention of giving it up. However, we need our cell phones too, as when the electricity goes out or our internet goes down, the landline is useless as it works through the internet.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 08:41 AM
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I gave up my landline 20 years ago when I was traveling much of the year & hadn’t missed having one until an epic storm last year left me without power for 2 weeks. The cell phone was only good for an occasional text but my next door neighbor’s landline worked through it all.

As Melnq8 says, some landlines don’t work when the power is down, as another neighbor’s doesn’t. Sometimes my cell works & other times not. I suspect it has to do with the magnitude or cause of the outage. Mine uses Wi-Fi at home but switches to direct service from Verizon when I’m out & about, So one might assume that when the power goes, I’d automatically be switched but it seems not to be always the case. So regarding those great advances in technology, like a friend in advertising told me once, when they say “in order to serve you better” you’re about to lose something. In this case reliable phone service, gone when you need it most.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 08:57 AM
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My landline is separate from the internet so still works in power failures.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 09:28 AM
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Another landline here... Cell service in the back part of our house is sketchy at times, nonexistent at others.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 11:38 AM
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About ten years ago when we still had both cell phones and land lines there was a big summer storm that toppled trees on wires all over the area. Trees falling don't distinguish between power wires, phone wires, or cable wires. Our small neighborhood was among the last to all of the wires restored, and for 3 days the only service we had was cell service, and a gasoline generator.

Since that time we've cut the landline cord. With more recent power outages cell service hasn't failed, and we've fired up the generator to keep fridge and lights on, I have battery backup for internet modem & wifi. Cell service (5G) has gotten fast enough that it works for basic computer needs.

Our local 911 service knows the address a cell phone is calling from. Been there, done that, and it worked great.

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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 06:13 PM
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Trees falling don't distinguish between power wires, phone wires, or cable wires
Just pointing out that in some parts of the country (like where I live) all 3 of these are normally buried, as is the fiber optic cable. Also,exposure to power failures varies radically across the country because of this.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 01:46 AM
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I have a land line for fax purposes
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 02:48 AM
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Yes the land line is a backup but some phones need electricity to function too. We have an old one to plug into the Jack in an emergency that works without.

i do not know if the address the cell phone provides is the billing address or the tower closest to where the call is made from. In our case, the billing address is not the cottage. DH was giving the address to the dispatcher, but the message that we were in CT not NY took a few minutes to get through.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 05:49 AM
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Our county shares 911 dispatch services with the next county over - I once called 911 from my land line for a medical emergency with my mom and was asked what county I was in and then transferred. I then provided my address and city to the dispatcher. So I'm not sure if having a land line solves the issue.

Having said that, our reverse 911 system seems to work pretty well. Not long ago we received both a robo call on our land line and multiple texts on our cell phones advising us that there was police activity ongoing in our town and to shelter in place and keep an eye out for the person they described. Then it happened again when the situation was resolved.

It does seem odd that dispatch didn't know where you were calling from via the GPS on your phone. I had to call 911 a few months back to report a hit and run accident. I told them I didn't know where I was, but they already knew.

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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 09:58 AM
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You can count me in as a member of the landline "club". I, too did not have a cell phone until 2019 when there was a problem at a Verizon switching center and my landline service got cut off for several days (it happened again last year for 2 days). The cell phone comes in handy if and when the landline goes out and when I have to communicate when I am not home. I also use it to connect to the internet when I am at the doctor's office while waiting to be called for my appointment.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 10:41 AM
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I have a landline and have for decades. Mine is not connected to the internet, in fact, the company I use is one I only have for the landline. I have it because I have a home alarm system connected to it, I don't know if those can work without a landline (didn't used to be able to), but I keep it anyway for several reasons. First, I like that it is a different company than my internet, so I can use it when the internet service goes down. Second, if I"m on the phone long, I personally do not like holding a small smartphone, I am more comfortable with a bigger receiver. Third, I wanted to keep my old phone number I've had 30 years (no, it can't be switched to a smartphone, I"ve asked and the answer was too arcane to understand but it can't).

Now it used to be it was old copper wires and it did still work in an electric outage but the company (Verizon) stopped supporting those in my county/state and so now it is some other kind of wiring. I don't know what, maybe it would be the same wiring as if you had internet bundled but I don't. It is not buried, I know that (neither is my internet cable). I thought it was illegal for Verizon to stop that but checked with the state regulator and they are allowed to do that (stop supporting copper wiring). It does go down when the electricity goes out, I don't think there is any way to stop that because the hub or something that operates it (outside my house, maybe for the area) is run by electricity. It has a battery backup that lasts a bit.

I don't have it mainly for electric outages as my cellphone works fine for that. We don't really have power outages all that often, anyway. I have a limited usage plan so it's not too expensive which is fine as I don't really use it that much. Most of the fees are state fees/taxes/etc I think, at least half of them. I think it used to cost me only about $30 a month but with the fees/taxes creeping up, it's now closer to $50.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 05:52 PM
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In Maryland, if you have an elevator in your home, you must have a land line in it.* A couple died when their elevator failed and they had no service. (Can't remember where that occurred).

*Based on info from the friend with an elevator...truth??
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 06:03 AM
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We had the same issue that Christina speaks of . . . keeping the landline for home alarm system and wanting to keep our phone number of 30+ years. But that $40+/month for 99% spam calls was ridiculous. Then Spectrum came up with a bundle with $20 plus spam blocker, and ADP said they could now do home alarm via internet, AND we could transfer our home number, we cut the chord.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 04:25 PM
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I primarily use my land line when making calls. I find that with hearing aids, I can hear so much better using the land line than I can with cellphones. People's voices sometimes fade out when talking on my cell phone.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2024, 11:09 PM
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We have been in the alarm business for 40+ years and all of our alarms are on Satellite phone systems now days so no one has to depend on their home phone line (which can be cut) and we don't depend on cell phones and internet either. Our customers love it because many of them were keeping their land lines just for their alarm system and many were paying $40-$50 per month just to make sure their alarm would be monitored. The Satellitel phone is much cheaper.
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Old Jul 4th, 2024, 10:16 AM
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We had to give up our true landline which worked during the 1989 earthquake because it was AT&T copper lines supplied power for the phone independent of the general power grid. At some point we had to bundle our services, which included AT&T, but the phone was a VOIP line carried over the internet. We had lost our independent land line.

We recently divested ourselves of the bundle which kept on increasing in cost with little or no increase in service. We now have a separate truly local Internet provider (Monkey Brains $35 per month), purchased a separate router ($90 and no monthly charges), purchased an Ooma VOIP phone for the most basic rate which is only the taxes and fees that are normally added to a phone subscription; and have a Roku subscription for our TV service. The TV service is tied to our internet service only because the hills around us do not permit any type of antenna connection.

We kept a VOIP service for a couple of reasons. My wife has a smart phone that she never uses, and I have a flip phone created to wean people from the smart phone. My flip is my local emergency phone and our travel phone. With minimal service (100 minutes per month for $5 plus taxes) I use the flip phone to call Europe, and I can use it in Europe when connected to a WiFi which requires a password, such as in a hotel or at a friend’s house. But in our house, which is a two story structure, eliminating the “landline” would mean that we would have to carry our phone around the house all the time, and neither of us is willing to do that. As things stand, we have our main phone next to computer station and an extension on the other floor.

There is also a social advantage to landlines: It used to be that when I called my daughter, either she or her spouse would answer the phone. We had the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with another member of the household before being passed on the other person for whom the call was originally intended. That ended a long time ago when they switched to smartphones. If they call, the chance of speaking to the other member of the household is still possible. In fact, we can be on the phone together on our end.
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