Getting Rid of Your Landline: When to Cut the Cord

by Thursday Bram · 142 comments

Landline telephone
According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of American homes with landlines has dropped to 74 percent — in comparison to its 2001 peak of 97 percent. The number is dropping with increasing speed, and there are plenty of reasons why.

For most households, a cell phone is more useful — and why should you pay two different telephone bills? For others, there are still telephones other than cell phones in the house, but they use VoIP, rather than a line connected by the telephone company. Either way, getting rid of the landline comes down to cost. If you’re thinking about doing the same, here are some things to think about.

Making Sure You’re Ready to Cut the Cord

There are some situations where it makes sense to keep a landline in place, such as when certain family members don’t have cell phones. If you have small children, you certainly don’t need to give them a cell phone of their own, but it can make sense to keep a landline around, if only so that they can dial 911 in an emergency.

Considering that emergency services are one of the stickiest points when it comes to alternatives to the traditional landline, you may also want to wait until technology catches up. For example, with VoIP service, reaching 911 has become much more difficult, simply because you can’t assume that you’ll be directed to your local emergency services number. Most VoIP providers are working to add emergency call routing, however, so this problem may become a non-issue in the future.

Power outages can prove an additional issue, at least for VoIP phones. Cell phones, of course, will still run, provided the battery has been charged. If you’re comfortable with the work-arounds and options that are available to improve upon these issues, you may be ready to get rid of your landline.

Find the Right Combination for Your Household

I haven’t had a landline in my home since 2004 — but for a two-year period, I did keep a fax line. At that time, I was receiving and sending quite a few faxes and it was convenient to keep the line for that purpose. I eventually moved to receiving my faxes online, but I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t face any problems with any part of my communications set-up.

It makes sense to analyze what you’re using — and how often — before you make the switch. For instance, you may need an improved cell phone plan if you’re getting rid of a landline. You may have to make some significant changes to other plans, as well: many households have telephone lines as a package deal with their cable or internet service. In some cases, you may find that it’s cheaper to keep the line than try to change packages — although you can find a better deal often enough that it’s worth looking.

It can actually take some time to make the transition away from a landline, but if you’re currently paying for expensive features like long-distance calling, the savings will make it worth it.

Do you still own a landline?

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{ 142 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve From TravelingProfessor.com December 22, 2010 at 5:39 am

I have a home in rural Western Massachusetts. No cell phone or cable service there. The phone costs me about $25 a month and I might make 2-3 calls per month on it, but I need it in case of an emergency.

I wish there was a better solution.

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KM December 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

Someone should create pay-as-you-go landlines.

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Vorenious November 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

They do, it is called a phone booth. While living in Japan and in Holland, we had the option of having a pay phone in our home. Since we rent a home in Japan, it came equipped with a pay phone via the landlord. In Holland, we chose the individual line, while our neighbor who shared her home with three other students opt’ed for the pay phone.

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monkeyfurball January 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

You have a land line, but you can’t get internet via DSL on that land line? That doesn’t make sense. If you can get dsl internet then you can use voip all day long for free calls. People can even call you with a free google voice ph number.

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MikeS January 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

DSL access can come down to data quality and where the local phone connection box is. A friend of mine was living 7 miles from town and got DSL, but his connection speed was 28.8 kbps, the same as dial-up on his landline. When he asked the phone company, they said that he was too far away from the box to get faster DSL speeds. When he finally located the closest box with a high enough bandwidth to exceed dial-p speeds, it turned out that it was outside his trailer park and his park’s box was further down the road. So he stuck with dial-up because it was the cheaper alternative for the bandwidth available.

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KM December 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

We need the landline (although we use Vonage, so it’s VoIP) for international calling since it would be insanely expensive on a cell phone and now it’s free with our monthly plan. When I lived alone, I never even bothered to install a phone since I only needed a cell phone. But it does get complicated trying to work around the bundle discounts being removed when you start messing with things. Just don’t automatically assume it’s cheaper…calculate the total first.

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JJ May 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

Vonage is too expensive for a voip. You can get VOIP that work good enough for $20 a year. You can use skype for international calls and not pay a dime.

Bundles don’t save you money, unless you are still stuck on using an old fashion land line.

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Karen August 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

There’s an app for iphone users where you can make free international calls between iphone users.

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davebrit December 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

You can use Skype free as long as the other person also has it. Otherwise still a cheap 2c/min with 6c set up fee. I like Google Voice better, I set it up with a Obi202 VoIP phone adapter for about $75 and domestic (US/CAN) calls are free, international are 2c/min with NO set up fee. Call quality is vastly superior to Skype.

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Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural August 4, 2012 at 5:27 am

I hear you on the bundle thing. I was just checking out the options if I move and the last thing I need is a landline because I already have 3 other phone lines that are mobile and will go with me wherever I move. But to get DSL Internet and Satellite TV without the landline is $40 more – Go Figure! Crazy, but I’m stuck with a landline because it’s far more cost-effective.

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Tim November 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I bought a Linksys PAP2T device on Amazon, connected it to my router, and setup a couple sipgate lines. I get free incoming calls for both voice and fax, and free outgoing calls using Google Voice. VOIP for $0 a year.

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Ramzi November 23, 2012 at 6:00 am

Hi Tim, I have the Linksys SPA2102 phone adapter, but I wonder how you could setup with Google voice. I appreciate your help, as I am being rubbed on a monthly basis. Thanks, Ramzi.

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monkeyfurball January 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Why go to all that trouble? Just use Talkatone on your cellphone voip on wifi. All free calls and won’t use any minutes on your cell plan.

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You be the bank December 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

Google has committed to offering free calls to landlines and cell phones anywhere in the us and canada through gmail chat. I think the landline will soon go the way of the dinosaur, the rising generation has a cell phone and that’s all they need.

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JP July 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm

the “rising generation” is still outnumbered by those who have already risen

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alexander Brown August 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I live in the UK, and despite fibre being rolled out slowly for faster than dsl internet BT (main incumbant) or any of the other providers have never once pitched the idea of naked dsl, so the phone line had no phone, but just for internet services. as a result voip over here is in the dark ages, and we have next to no competition.

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marci December 22, 2010 at 10:57 am

I went to cancel my landline when I disconnected the internet, but was given some good info from the phone provider… without internet I could get a very basic landline service for only $7.90/month…. plus 10 cents a call on outgoing calls. No extra charge for incoming calls. So I kept the landline for emergencies – for grandkids to use in case of my health emergency, when cell phones are out here (a common occurrence in this windy area, and for when the electric is also out the landline is an oldfashioned non electric one.

There are too many times in this rural area – and too many places – where cell phones just don’t work at all. There is still a need for a non-electric landline out here. And probably always will be.

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Steve February 11, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Just wanted you to know that the corded landline phones are electric, the electricity travels through the phone line.

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Michele February 12, 2011 at 6:21 am

I retain one old school phone that is hardwired directly into the phone line …no electricity… and it will work in power failure. The phone is clunky and definitely heavy but its a godsend in power outages. There isn’t any electricity involved in its operation however I also have a “cordless” landline which does need electricity for the base to operate the individual units. These do not work without electricity and are useless in any power failure. That old school phone isn’t very convenient to use because its not cordless…but it will be available in emergencies and has been used to contact my power company when my electric has failed.

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buck August 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Michele land line (wire) use 22 volts suplied by the phone oomepay. None electric phones use 2 cans and string.

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Mary October 2, 2012 at 11:29 am

Old fashioned landlines work on electricity generated by the telephone company itself not the electric company. Most are also on a very good battery backup system that works for a very long time. The electricity doesn’t stay on the phone all the time. Its usually generated only while on a call. If your ever holding a phone line wire when a call comes in I guarantee you will feel and see the electricity. (It hurts. I been there!) It is there, it is just not the same source as your normal power.

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RB October 4, 2012 at 9:55 am

Landline telephones operate on a nominal 48 volts DC, not 22 volts. The power is provided on the telephone line by the telephone company, and is generated in the telephone company’s Central Office (CO) or Remote Terminal (RT) that provides your phone service. The Central Office runs everything off of a large battery plant within the office, and charges the batteries using commercial AC power. If commercial power is lost, the equipment continues to run on the battery plant, and a generator turns on and is switched over to continue charging the batteries until commercial AC power returns. That’s why telephone service is never interrupted during a power outage, and is generally only interrupted when a phone line is cut or damaged.

The 48 volts delivered over a landline is provided constantly, not only when on a call. It’s used to detect when your phone goes off-hook to make a phone call.

When there is an incoming call, the telephone switch puts a higher voltage (90 volts AC) ringing signal on the landline, which causes the bell or ringer in the phone to let you know that there is a call coming in.

art bab November 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

At one time, the telephone company had battery back-up so the line-line was dependable.

In NJ and PA, Verizon no longer has backup for more than a few hours. I finally dropped the land-line as a dependable back-up when for 3 years in a row, it took them more than a week each time to fix a recurring problem at their sub-station. Even when I told them the symptoms were the same each time.

At one time they also used to automatically test the line. Not any more. Once it took me 2 days to notice my line wasn’t working (Then 5 more days until they finally had a technician show up).

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marci357 February 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

My old basic landline phone works when the power is out. Period.
Emergency services encourages us all to have one like it, as we are without electric so often here.

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Art July 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

The power for the phone line does not travel on the power lines, it travels down the phone lines. So when you lose power, it is the power lines that went down. You wont lose the phone line unless the phone lines are down, and as said the phone line supplies its own power.

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James November 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

The phone still works in a power outage where services like VOIP, Magic Jack are rendered dead in a power outage. Cell phones will stay on until your battery goes dead. Basically if you had an emergency and needed 911 services you would suffer without the landline through a power outage.

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jamesraysmith November 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Really you sound like some thug from the phone company when you post comments like”you will suffer if you don’t have a landline”. WTF I live in a rv and travel from place to place. No way to hook up a landline everytime I move my r.v. I am a mobile worker,digatal nomade, that has been forced by circumstance’s to disconnect from my landline.

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jimmy37 December 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I have a pay-as-you-go landline for emergencies and for Internet, since I have DSL Internet. I do all my long-distance with Skype. I don’t have a large cell phone plan, since I don’t want the world calling me on it. I prefer to go home and get my messages.

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Briana @ GBR December 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm

We don’t have a landline. We have our cell phones and numbers through Skype and Google.

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Dave September 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

How do you set up Skype for a cell phone and does it use any minutes on your plan?

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uncreative October 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

Dave:

skype is a free ap on your computer or smart phone.

voice-skype (more or less like a phone call) uses regular cellular networks and use data. using the regular network will not support video-skype without significant lags enough to make it not feasible. in a wi-fi environment (both sides need this for video- to work), there is no data usage charge to voice- or video- via skype.

for a relatively small fee, you can purchase skype credits which enable a computer user or smart phone user to have skye’s servers basically interface with the regular phone systems. translated: you can pay to use a data-based ap to participate in a call with a caller on a regular land-line or cell phone.

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Ramona December 23, 2010 at 6:23 am

Right now our landline costs are 3 times bigger that our cell phone bills. I am seriously considering getting rid of it, especially since we all have cell phones. The only reason to still keep it is that some of our relatives know the number. though, if I think of some of them, cutting them away might not be a bad idea :D

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jimmy37 December 23, 2010 at 10:36 am

@Ramona, you could look into a basic pay-as-you-go landline, or transfer the number to a cheap cellphone plan like Tracphone.

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davebrit December 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Ramona, with Google Voice and a box like my Obi202 VoIP adapter ($75 @AMZN), you can port your old # to it and dump the land line. Setup is easy (almost like Obi and GV were made for each other), and call quality is superb. Calls are free in US/CAN until further notice, and dirt cheap internationally.

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M.B. December 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

We have not had a landline since 2003 and don’t want one. Recently, I had problems with my cell phone voice mail. The cell phone customer service representative suggested that if I had a landline I would be able to check my cell phone voice mail with it. I politely informed her that I don’t need a landline and that her suggestion was not what I wanted to hear.

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marci December 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

Our 911 cannot locate you with just the cell phone call…
With a landline call, if you can just dial the 911, and even without being able to talk, 911 will send someone, usually the police or sheriff, to check on the address that landline is issued to immediately. At least that’s how it works in our area.

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jimmy37 December 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

I used to think so too, but if you have a smartphone with a GPS or WiFi turned on, the phone will transmit that information to e911.

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Paul December 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

I use the Ooma Voip service which cost about $200 up front for the hardware and about $3.75 per month to pay for the 911 fee. There is no cost to make phone calls, and I kept my old land line phone number. It runs on my cable modem ($29.99/mo), which I have anyway for my home based business. For cell phones, I use Walmart’s Common Cents Mobile which comes out to $25 per month for two phones. So, my total monthly cost for phones and internet is $58.74.

The other advantage of my setup is that if I move, I can take my phone numbers with me. The Ooma phone keeps my phone number regardless of where I plug it into the internet.

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FrugalLivingAdvice.com December 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

I gave up a landline years ago and don’t miss it. I am almost at the point now where I can give up cable tv since I can watch whatever I want anytime over the internet.

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Alyssa June 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

I’ve been considering getting rid of cable as well. A $7.99/month subscription to Hulu gets me most of what I want. The only things I wouldn’t get is live sports and premium channels like HBO. That’s the only thing keeping me paying for cable TV.

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Teresa July 25, 2012 at 7:27 am

I bought a Roku box ($78) last week and discontinued my satellite service. Now I can get over 300 channels. I don’t watch sports but there are some available. All of the channels I subscribed to are free except Hulu ($7.99 per month) for tv shows and Netflix ($7.99 per month) for movies. Now I can watch what I want WHEN I want and am saving $$$$ yearly.

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sue22 July 31, 2012 at 9:54 am

How does Roku work without an internet provider, such as Comcast or a satellite service? The monthly fee for that, in my area, is minimum $45.00. Probably more if you don’t bundle it with all the other 100’s and 100’s of other channels we never watch and could certainly live without. My package at Comcast includes HD cable, premium chan..HBO,SHO,etc, my landline telephone serv. and HighSpeed Internet…approx. costs $240 mnthly.

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Wanda August 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Roku works off your home wi-fi signal.
We have two cells phones totalling $70 monthly.
Basic life line cable $ 9.00 monthly
Internet $35.00 monthly
If I could find a way around the monopoly on internet service in my area, I would love it. Our local phone monopoly won’t share their lines and the Time Warner keeps buying all of their competition.

If you have a smart phone, look for an app that will let you make calls over wifi; you can use it while at home without using minutes on your cell phone plan. Try Spare Phone for Android.

Dan December 28, 2010 at 6:49 am

I have a landline.

The telecom situation is a little different here in Paris, FR. Many operators offer a ‘triple-play’ package of Internet (<20Mb) + TV (+200 channels) + Landline (+100 countries at no extra cost), + WiFi router….all for 30e/$40 per month. So, all my landline calls are unlimited at no extra cost.

My mobile phone is 'pay as you go' for around $15/mo. I could use a mobile VoIP phone because all WiFi routers have a free channel for VoIP nomads. No problem in Paris but outside the range of WiFi, I would have no connection. There are combo VoIP / GSM phones but I would still have to keep a GSM at a minimum of $15/mo….leaving me with my current scenario of $40 + $15 / month.

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Alyssa June 2, 2011 at 7:22 am

Dan, the triple-play package is also very common the US.

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buck August 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm

In the US for $40 ? Where? Verizon will do it for about $100

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Pat January 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Since I have my cell with unlimited texting and long distance, I would love to cancel my home phone. Recently I cancelled the long distance on it, so it’s under $20 month, but I still keep it for my DSL internet connection.

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April January 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I have a landline just for my alarm system. Doesn’t all alarm systems have to be connected to a landline?

I don’t even give my landline number out.

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len January 22, 2011 at 1:03 am

You dont need a landline for alarm system.The adt system i had used a cell phone and had a battery backup

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Kal February 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

Hmmm….that is interesting. I have an ADT alarm system, and they made me get a landline for the alarm to use. And I am not in a rural area.

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mto February 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm

I already had a landline, and yes ADT said I had to use one for the alarm system, so I keep it. I am in a very major metro area. But it’s just as well; I’m just old enough to feel insecure not having a hard-wired phone in case of storms – we do occasionally lose power – or to contact 911 as quickly as possible. Also, 3 years ago I did briefly try the cable provider phone service – it was TERRIBLE – outages every other week for several days at a time, with no sense of urgency on their part for it to be restored. So I will be keeping a landline for the forseeable future.

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Charlotte January 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I also droppd my landlines as the only calls I used to receive from that line is pretty much all telemarketers. All my family and friends know to reach me on my cell which I live on. For only $45 a month, I get unlimited minutes, text and web access with StraightTalk. Can’t beat that.

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Maxime January 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I’m seriously considering getting rid of my land line as it is costing me close to $80 a month. Everyone in our household has cell phones and we do all our international calls (my family is in Belgium and France) through Skype, which is amazing. My only problem is the internet connection. I have DSL linked to the land line. Any tips?

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Paul January 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

My comment above provides a “landline” which is a VOIP over a internet cable connection. The VOIP phone service is through OOMA which only costs $3.75 for the 911 service, which I can’t get with a cell phone. You can keep your existing phone number, so the only thing that changes is that your monthly phone bill drops.

If you absolutely must have a traditional landline, call up your telephone company and ask for the cheapest way to have a landline. It should cost about $20. If your $80 bill included the DSL line, consider shopping around for a bundled deal. But to me, DSL with the phone line seems to be so much more expensive with such a lower internet speed.

By the way, you can negotiate a better deal for their internet connection by testing the speed of their internet connection. You may be billed for a fast service but only being provided a mediocre one. Knowing the speed you were getting, you can demand a lower monthly rate and get it.

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beN July 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm

You state, ” My comment above provides a “landline” which is a VOIP over a internet cable connection”… this statement is redundant.

The acronym VOIP, means Voice Over Internet Protocol.

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jimmy37 January 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

@Maxime, depending on your telephone company (ATT, Verizon, etc), you can get “naked DSL”. Of course, you will be charged a higher rate because you aren’t getting telephone service.

My phone bill is only $40 a month. I have basic phone service for 911, I pay $15 for a dial tone and 10 cents a local call, which I use when I am running low on cell minutes. I have basic DSL for $25. I also have SkypeOut for long-distance calls.

Just my 2c.

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joel January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

74% of people have landlines? That’s unbelievable…I would have thought that number was closer to 40%. I don’t get why anybody would have one at this point.

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marci January 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

Because they provide 911 an exact address – when seconds count.
Even if you cannot speak, or if a young child cannot give an address, 911 will come check on you, via that address from the landline phone.

And… some internet connections still require a landline phone.

And…cell phone towers seem to get taken out by windstorms and mudslides – nice to have a backup plan…. We were without cell phone service 7 days here last winter.

That’s why people still have landlines.

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mto February 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Very true. I’ve had the electricity go out on me many times everywhere I’ve lived, but have NEVER had my landline phone service go out. Maybe there are parts of the US where that happens, but not in my experience. Also, until recently, where I live was a dead spot for cell service (a small valley) – NO ONE, regardless of carrier, could get good service here – which is why I got a landline here in the first place. They did finally built another tower, but you never know. Maybe if you’re a young guy you can feel secure with no phone service in the middle of a blackout at night, but not me.

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tartofdarkness October 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I am amazed that no one has listed call quality as a reason for keeping a landline. It drives me crazy to try to talk to friends for any length of time on a cell with the signal glitching out every time I turn my head or change sitting positions. I’m so sick of “What? I didn’t hear that?” just like back in the old days with old-fashioned long distance and bad phone lines. The cell is okay for quick talks or for messaging, but long talks I prefer my landline.

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John November 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

Cell phones are great when all is right with the world. But throw in a catastrophe and you might as well have nothing.

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Emily February 1, 2011 at 4:48 am

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the risks of cell phone use to health. Even manufacturers specify that you should not hold your phone close to your ear during use, and should not carry them close to the body i.e. in a pocket. The radiation penetrates even deeper into children’s underdeveloped skulls/brains.

I carry a pay as you go cell phone for personal security, but keep use to a minimum and make all long calls on my land line. I’m happy to pay extra for the peace of mind.

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Rugratz2222 February 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm

@Emily – please don’t drink the kool-aid. No, there is no radiation from a cell phone permeating your brain, or your kids’ brains. That is foolishness and just an urban legend email perpetrated on a segment of the population that will believe everything they get – because they saw it on an email or on the web. Do not spam your friends and don’t forward stuff just because you are told to. Go to www. snopes .com and read up on all the urban legends and get educated. Ignorance is not the same as stupidity. You may have been unaware before, but now you have knowledge. Now go and sin no more, get smarter about such things.

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Karen June 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

You are wrong Rug. There is radiation connected with cell phones. You have drunk the Kool-Aid, but now YOU are aware. Pass it on.

http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-radiation-levels/

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patty July 18, 2012 at 7:25 am

@Rugratz2222- I have a friend that is dying of breast cancer as we speak, she put her cell phone in her bra all the time at an angle, cancer the size of of a cell phone at an angle on her breast. I think you drank the kool-aid you need to get informed.

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Donc February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I stopped doing business with the phone company about ten years ago. High speed internet and a Magic jack are much less expensive than my old phone bill alone. Add the price of free long distance and the difference was huge.

FWIW most VOIP services have addressed the 911 issue years ago.

After dealing with the phone companies for 40+ years I took great satisfaction in telling them good by.

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marci357 February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Just curious…. what do you use when the electricity is out?

Very common occurrence here.
And a basic landline phone will work without electric.

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marci357 February 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

and the winds have blown a cell tower out of whack for a week at a time…
also a common occurrence here in Paradise :)

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Paul February 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Nothing is perfect, but regular landlines run on low voltage too. I remember once in Lake Tahoe, CA a snowstorm wiped out the power lines which made the landlines useless even though the telephone lines were intact.
The only thing I can suggest is to have an APC power backup for your VOIP phone. The Ooma phone which I mentioned above does not have to be connected to your computer. So, you don’t need the computer on, whereas the Magic Jack needs the computer always on.
Where I live, the cable lines run on the same poles as the telephone lines. In case of disaster, both will be out. So it isn’t as if using a VOIP makes me more vulnerable.

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marci357 February 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

My basic old fashioned landline phone does NOT need electric to work.

Out here, emergency preparedness office encourages a non-electric phone so we can communicate when the electric is out and the cell tower is not working (often)

I understand tho, that every community has it’s own emergencies to deal with. A non-electric landline phone has over the course of the years, been more available than anything else.

Alun Palmer August 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

Trying to reply to the comment below, but there is no reply button. How many times does someone have to point out that non-electric phones use two tin cans and a piece of string? Landline phones run on the voltage you get down the phone line from the phone company. They don’t work without electricity. Granted, some fancier phones have to be plugged into the mains as well, but those that don’t are not non-electric! Anyway, if the line breaks you lose the signal and you lose the power for the phone at the same time. We have only one set of poles where we live too, but we get more power cuts than we ever did phone outages. We ditched the landline after we switched from dialup to 3G. Right now we get cellphone and Internet service from the same company via the same tower, so sometimes they do go out at the same time, but not always. We have ham radio, and the houses across the road have FiOS/DSL/Cable, none of which we can get, so we can always walk to a neighbour who may still be connected to phone and/or Internet.

Störm Poorun February 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

* Essential in multi-occupancy homes and family homes
Landlines are incredibly useful in houses and offices with more than one person:
If I call my office, or my house (shared with several people) I don’t want to phone all of 8 mobile phones (which may be off) just to see if anyone is there – I want a single phone number for a place – be it a home or an office (rather than a person). ‘Damn, I left the oven on, I’d better call and see if my housemate or their visiting aunt is in to turn it off’ or ‘I’ll call the house and see if anyone’s around to hang-out with this evening.’.

* Essential for businesses
When you phone the hardware store you don’t want to phone each member of staff, when you phone home you don’t want to try each member of the house. A landline doesn’t run out of batteries. A landline works for emergency services. In the majority of countries a landline is tied-in to having a DSL (broadband internet) connection, so it may as well be used for incoming calls.

* Free or much cheaper calls to other landlines – domestic and overseas
A landline in many countries (including the UK) can enable free calls to other landlines in the same country, and overseas, and cheap calls to international mobiles – cheaper than any mobile or VOIP service.

* A landline provides better quality calls in general than VOIP or mobiles.
If you talk on a landline for several hours on your sofa at night to a friend in need, or just to catch up your brain will not feel like it’s frying (whether or not it is on a mobile, who knows, but it can feel like it.)

* A landline enables people in your country, and in other countries to call you free or cheaply – a VOIP phone or mobile is usually very expensive to call for most people who only have mobiles or landlines.

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Alun Palmer August 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

Most of that may be true, but at least in this part of the US the landline phone companies are not cheaper for anything. They charge way more than cellphones. In fact, I’d say they have priced themselves out of business. The only reason they are still in business atall is that there are still a lot of people who are used to having a landline, but as older generations die off, young couples moving in won’t even think of getting a landline, it just won’t enter their heads as to why they would ever need one. Last employee at the phone company please turn out the lights!

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JoAnne February 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I don’t have a land line. I gave mine up in 2010. I have a basic cell from Consumer Cellular that costs 20 bucks a month plus any taxes for 250 minutes. It gets charged once a week. I’m not a phone person so this is all I need for phone service. I had Verizon for my land line service and it was very expensive. I have no need to call out side the US. I have no children.

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Kitty February 16, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I was sooooo ready to cut cord and finally did it after receiving a telemarketer phone call at 11 pm. Those seems to be the only people that call our land line and it was aggrevating the heck out of me. Plus, I have an awesome, unlimited cell phone plan with StraightTalk that I can pretty much do everything I can with my land line plus more. So glad to have gotten rid of that and let’s hope they don’t get a hold of my cell number. I’m keeping my fingers CROSSED.

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mto February 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Well, I do of course have my cell phone, but as an FYI: I again lost internet service last night for at least 2 hours (I went to bed at that point). So I still wouldn’t ever go with VOIP again. I live in what is considered an upscale suburb adjoining a major city; I don’t know if it’s just my city. BTW, @Kitty: I have had my cell phone number for nearly 15 years, and I must admit I have NEVER received any telemarketing calls. I would just rather cover all bases in regards to personal safety, as far as having instant 911 access at all time. Of course, most others in my area would rather cover it with a gun…ha. but I’d probably wind up shooting myself.

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Big'O February 17, 2011 at 10:02 am

We experienced two incidents where a hurricane and a small earthquak took out the power to all cellphone capability except for the land-line’s, for this reason we keep our land-line operational.

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Big'O February 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

I forgot to mention: We keep our land line phone disconnected unless there’s an emergency.

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Mona Lisa February 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I’m all for saving money whenever I can, but I believe it’s a necessity to keep ones landline connected. When you call 911, using your cell phone, your phone number does not automatically show up as it would when calling from a landline. Precious minutes can be wasted, by having to relay your address & cell phone number to the 911 dispatcher. If I stand corrected, please do so.

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marci357 February 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm

That’s pretty much the way it works here … the cell number shows up, but not the address. I tried to get the local 911 to add my address to the number, but they said the don’t have the electronics to do that here in my little town.

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John Conrad February 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

marcie357 – your phone is electric. The phone company has it’s own separate electric power which goes to your phone. That’s why your phone works when the house power goes out.

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mary e. Fox August 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Instead of ‘911’ the next one to use for emergency is 711 on a cell phone

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bianca February 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Love this article,printed out for my mom, she is always looking for ways to save. Can’t believe she hasn’t thought of cutting the cord and solely relying on her cell. She already has a prepaid that saves her more than half of what she used to pay with AT&T. She has a Straight Talk,when I saw her savings I got one too. $45 for unlimited service. I’m saving between the land line and my old cell provider about $80/month. And the coverage is SWEET, no lost calls.

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Rugratz2222 February 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

We still have a landline but only to weed out telemarketers. About 75% of the calls going to my landline are hang-ups – we never answer the phone, we just let it ring to the answering machine. We have cells for family and friends. We have DSL from AT&T but I believe we can still have it without a landline account. I haven’t “cut the cord” yet as I use the landline as a filter for now. And I know that the email that says “all cell phone numbers going to telemarketers” is just hogwash, but I don’t want my cell number in general being too available to business. One of these days, I’ll cut the cord.

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Josh March 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am keeping my landline, since it serves as my back-up when my flaky internet connection stops working. Yea, a 64K dial-up is pretty slow, but it is faster than 0K (zero K).

If my internet connection ever gets more reliable, I would certainly look at replacing it. Possibly with Verizon Wireless’s new Home Connection, which is an adapter that turns all your home phones into a cell phone line. And it costs only $20/month for UNLIMITED minutes.

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James in New Jersey March 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

In the summer of 2000 I rented a new apartment in Maplewood NJ. At the time Verizon was on strike, and when I called them to request a landline hookup, they said I would have to wait 45 days. I told them, if they made me wait 45 days to have a line connected, I would never get a landline, and would rely solely on my cell phone for all calls. I have not had a landline since, and am celebrating my 11th year untethered by the 19th century invention. I travel frequently and no longer to worry about someone tapping into my line, or the line breaking during a storm. My only wish now is that when the lines go, so do the wires. Its unsightly to see all these hookups to houses not using the antiquated services.

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dko March 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

Nobody should be getting rid of their landlines. Continual use of a cell phone is linked to brain tumors, and other cancers, decreased cognitive performance, tinnitus, rapid glucose uptake in the brain and sperm count decreases and testicular cancer among other things. The government of Israel warned its citizens in the fall of 2010 not to get rid of their cell phones and to use a corded landline instead of a cordless phone (which also emits continual microwave radiation like a cell phone. Related advisories have been issued by at least a dozen countries. Note, too, in the UK in 2005 at least a quarter of the population had abandoned their landlines, but after a concerted public information campaign, that number fell to 11% by 2010. In the U.S. the trend is the reverse and we are where the U.K. was five years ago. I find this article grossly irresponsible for not pointing this out; it is incumbent upon consumers to get informed ASAP and for parents to address their children’s increasing reliance on wireless devices, because obviously the mainstream press is keeping people in the dark. Explaining the dangers of cell phones to people is oddly like trying to tell people in the 1950’s that second hand cigarette smoke is harmful. It doesn’t say much for us as a civilization that we keep repeating the same mistakes.

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DanielS March 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

Unless you can list links to peer-reviewed scientific reports on your statements, we all must believe that you have no basis in your statements.

After many studies worldwide (and I can site many references), there is no established link between cell phone use and tumors or other maladies.

What you say if simply urban legend and fear mongering of science that you do not understand.

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dko7923 March 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Dear Daniel S,
Why don’t you site all the references to studies documenting no link between cell phones and disease, and then state whether those studies were independent or bought and paid for by industry.
See Appendix 2 of the Interphone Study
the work of Lennart Hardell, Siegal Sadetzki, and Franz Adlkofer for starters.
and read about the industry’s own conducted studies in George Carlo’s book
as well as Devra Davis’ Disconnect.

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elizabeth wood March 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

DanielS:

Sounds like you are either unknowledgable or industry connected.

There are many peer-reviewed studies showing a link between cell phone use and brain tumors: gliomas, acoustic neuromas and tumors of the parotid gland. For starters read the peer-reviewed Pathophysiology, Vol. 16, Issue 2, which has 16 articles about EMR exposures.

Unlike here in the US, many countries around the world have issued warnings to limit cell phone usage particularly for children and pregnant women.

The 2011 February issue of JAMA reports on a NIH study which shows a “50-minute exposure to cell phone radiation can effect the normal functioning of the human brain.” And Cal Tech released this past February a study that found “electrical fields as weak as one volt per meter robustly alters the firing of individual (brain) neurons…” This one volt/meter is in stark contrast to the obsolete FCC’s allowable exposure limit of 82 volts per meter for cell phones using the 850 to 1990 MHz frequency range.

Few consumers read the fine print in the users manual which instructs the cell phone user to keep the cell phone at least an inch away from the users head to comply with the FCC’s current exposure limits.

Consumers are foolish to give up their wired landline and only use a wireless phone.

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DanielS April 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Dear Ms. Wood,
I restrict my comments to facts rather than my opinion of your expertise.

A mobile telephone was first used on 17-Jun-1946. There are now 5 over billion cell phones in use.

We are awash in billions of EMF emitters including WiFi, WLANs, radio & television broadcasting, Bluetooth, cordless telephone handsets, garage door openers, wireless alarms, TV remotes, wireless video cameras, microwave ovens, computer monitors, fluorescent lamps, electric motors (washing machines, kitchen appliances, pumps), household electrical wiring and finally, baby monitors.

Hundreds if not thousands of studies have been completed. To date, there is no scientific *consensus* of a link between EMF and health problems.

Indeed, approx. 10 of the top 56 cell phone countries have issued precautionary advisories to pregnant women and children, not because of a link but because of the lack of data.

WHO and FDA have specific information on health and mobile phone use. I also draw your attention to WHO EMF study with results due in 2012. See my response to dko7923.

Until WHO and FDA find plausible risks of cell phone use, I will keep mine and advise my family and friends to do the same.

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DanielS April 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Dear dko7923,
I started to list the references you requested but quickly found that there were way too many for this blog.

I must apologize to Ms. Wood for asking her to provide a list of references. The purpose of this blog is not to review research but a discussion about saving money.

Thus, I will refer you and Ms. Wood to the WHO EMF project and their database of papers on EMF research (google: who emf studies database). You will find many papers (pro and con) on health affects….but as WHO states, there is no scientific consensus of a risk of EMF emitted by cell phones. Also refer to the US FDA web site on cell phone use.

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elizabeth wood April 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

Yes, I believe in saving money…healthcare costs of brain tumor treatment and the human cost of lost productivity, toll on families….and you can trust the likes of Repacholi and his chosen successor, Emily Van Deventer, who talks a good game, but I don’t. I am aware of the WHO EMF project. The WHO is turning a politically blind eye to exposures to wireless technology.

But there will continue to be studies warning us that all is not right with this technology…in time there will be bodies in the street. Just like tobacco, the impact will be seen, the suffering will be experienced.

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arthurb3 April 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

I haven’t had a land line since 1998.. You are all behind.

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PaulW May 2, 2011 at 6:26 am

Landlines work when the power is down because the exchanges have battery backup. Landline phones require electricity.

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Tom Navickas May 5, 2011 at 6:57 am

I stopped my land line because the taxes, 911 charges and fees were higher than the monthly charge from the phone company … My monthly charge with no usage was about 28 a month. The phone company was charging me about 13 a month and the rest was fees and taxes. It time for the govt. to stop all these fees and indirect taxes. We are taxed everywhere. I voted by getting rid of my phone line. The phone companies need to take up this issue if they want to keep their customers.

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JJ May 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

I have a pre-paid cell phone in case of emergencies and I have Magic Jack to make my phone calls, If I call international I use skype.

I refuse to waste money on phone calls. Many people pay $150 for cell phone service per month and $50 per month for an old fashion land line. I don’t need a cell phone to do business, so it is a waste of money for me.

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missswan January 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Clearwire+Skype+ PAYG cellphone for emergency = approx. $50/mo. for both phone and internet. Works for me.

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Howard June 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

MagicJack Plus works well for me, including faxing. It is VoIP; costs $69 for the first year including the device, and then $19.95 a year thereafter. One positive is that you can take MagicJack out of the USA and use it to make calls home free of charge.

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Bystander June 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm

It is my longstanding ambition to be the only person on the planet with no cell phone. The proper place to hold a phone conversation is in one’s own living room or office. My brother, a physician, says now patients frequently receive calls even while he is examining them. Cell phones are insidious, unnecessary (except for doctors, salesmen and pimps) and a serious drain on household finances. I will absolutely never own one.

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Noel July 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm

There are already more mobile phones than people on this planet, so perhaps you’ve already won.

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E.T. July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Bystander, you sound like my Dad, who refused to get an ATM card instead of a bass ins booklet or whatever it’s called until one day when the bank switched to ATM cards only.

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ezee July 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Yeah; pretty interesting remarks , and helpful in decision making on cutting the
landline . I had phoned the phone company voiced concern about my phone ser bill increases for the month of May and was told that I was in the wrong , that they offered a much better plan, faster , with many more buttons and whistles at less than $50.00 / mo. a few days later I received a call , a technician wanted to schedule an appointment to come out to prepair the outside box for the update and then another technician would come out to do the inside hook-up. The next day I recieved , in the mail, a bill estimate of $ 273.83 . Can you believe that ?

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JP July 3, 2012 at 10:13 am

The land line is my listed number: credit cards, doctors’ offices, beauty salon, church directory, etc. Anyone can find us and anyone can leave a message or reminder there–including telemarketers and robot-dialers– sigh… We have no regional or long distance services associated with the land line– only voice mail. It serves as a personal number that long-lost friends can use to track me down for more than 20 years. I do not expect to retire it – ever.

The cellphone? It funtions the way I once expected my home phone to function — as my own personal communications device. Only family and a few best friends use the cell phone number to contact me and I turned off the voice mail. Caller ID and text messaging on the cell make voice mail superfluous on this device. I imagine some day I could once again live without a cell phone. Especially if pay phones would make a comeback….

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Wonderkin July 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I currently pay $110 per month for a cell phone plan that includes 3 phones. This does not include any added taxes or fees. These phones share 1500 minutes of anytime usage. Two of the phones are talk only and one phone has unlimited texting. None of the phone has data service.

My landline costs per month are $65. This includes all taxes and fees added by the government. For that price I get unlimited local and long distance plus caller ID, call waiting, and five other services. That price also includes my DSL line which is the fastest one offered in my area.

If and when the cell phone companies can bring their prices down to as affordable a rate as my land line, maybe I’ll switch. Until then, my cell phone is for use only when outside the house. At home, I’ll stick with my landline. The service is not only cheaper but the reception is better and I don’t have to worry about dropped calls.

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sue22 July 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

Just wondering what company you use for your landline phone service, which includes your DSL, for only $65 monthly? Is DSL the type that uses your house phone to connect you to the internet? I had that type many yrs ago and it was SO SLOW as compared to the high speed internet I pay with my mnthly cable bill. If DSL is alot faster these days, I would definitely consider changing my whole bundle at Comcast b/c there is a method to their madness!! I need to find a cheaper way for my family to enjoy watching TV, using our computers, and talk’g on the phone w/out paying $240 + dollars mnthly.

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Alun Palmer August 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

DSL has always been available at more than one speed, but in the US few people get the higher speeds, because it is generally cheaper to go with Cable at that point (there are many other countries, OTOH, where cable TV is rare, so not really an option for Internet). AFAIK, the only thing that has changed is that the minimum DSL speed has been creeping up. I think at one time if you signed up for the cheapest DSL it might have been 192 k, but now perhaps twice or four times that speed, but still slower than cable. This is why Cable Internet ads have to say ‘faster than SLOW DSL’ and not just ‘faster than DSL’, because you can get DSL that fast, but it might cost you more than cable.

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Dizzee July 13, 2012 at 3:47 am

Wow you peeps get good deals!! In semi rural Australia I have to pay $93pm without calls for an adsl2/ landline bundle and this is considered ok. Wireless is not available in my area so I have no choice but to have the home phone..

In the city the same company is offering the same deal with unlimited called to landlines, mobiles etc for half price. They say that Austrailia is behind in internet and telelephony technology that we are paying more then the many countries for slower services etc.. comments on articles like this one only seem to confirm it /sigh.. stupid really because I never use the home phone and my mobile does me fine. makes me angry cause I feel blackmailed I guess .. no pay home phone I dont want no get internet service.

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bob July 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I left At&T. I now have DSL stand alone. Savings is $600 a year. I now use magic jack so add $20 a year. Cell phone is now Consumer cellular with saving of $516 per year.

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sue22 July 31, 2012 at 11:22 am

What is DSL stand alone?

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Alun Palmer August 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

Probably gets it from someone who subleases from AT&T, LOL! That is often cheaper, actually.

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lily July 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Well I feel like I’m living in the stone age. I’ve got centurylink land line, and can’t get internet service through centurylink , even though it’s only four or five miles from my house. Okeechobee stinks, expecially in ft drum.

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David Morris July 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

We have a landline, fast DSL, and TV service through CenturyLink. There’s a number of reasons to keep a landline, one being that if you ever break or lose your cell phone you’re going to be screwed without it. Especially if you have a job that requires you to have a phone. As a matter of fact, if I had to choose between getting rid of my house phone or my cell phone, my cell phone’s going bye bye, I can always find a payphone away from home if I need it. Which is another thing, payphones are becoming more and more scarce due to entitlement programs giving people a free cell phone, making it harder and harder for payphones to be profitable. I think if government’s going to do that then they need to subsidize payphones like they do call boxes on the interstate, so that you don’t walk six miles if you’re car breaks down and you’re cell phone is dead, has no service, is broken, is lost, etc.

But that’s just my opinion. In this day & age, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to save money.

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Alun Palmer August 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

There are no payphones around here anymore. Hope your job doesn’t involve travel, LOL!

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MG July 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

It’s good to read everybody’s experiences with/without landline. I need to change my 30-yr landline number because I am barraged by telemarketers because I once (10 years ago for ONE year) had a business in my home. I cannot get rid of references to that defunct business on the Web because there are so many sites posting every business ever registered anywhere.
Friends tell me to get rid of the landline, but I would feel insecure without it. I, too, keep an old-fashioned corded phone that does not require an electrical OUTLET for emergencies (granted, to be literal, the do require electricity, which comes in the phone company’s wire). I also need a landline for occasional faxing. I don’t trust Cable or even cell phone service to always be there. Besides, I am not and don’t want to be constantly attached to any telephone. The home answering machine serves an essential purpose taking automated messages about doctor appointments and so forth. And it lets friends and families call at any time without worrying about bothering me. Viva la landline!

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Mark mathosian July 28, 2012 at 4:39 am

I enjoy hearing the rings of the old telephones, and keep a land-line for that reason.

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Alun Palmer August 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

You can have that as a ringtone on your cellphone if that’s your only reason.

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littlegamma August 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

I am getting EXCEDE Satellite Internet installed on Saturday and after I feel secure that all is working well it’s “bye-bye ATT”. After I retired I asked them for the lowest plan they had…I don’t call 65.00 a month “low”!!! Between Excede and my Cell I will be just fine.

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Educe August 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

I just bought MagicJack. Can anyone tell me how to handle the ATT billing? I want to unbundle that part of my service and don’t know whether to disconnect first from ATT. Also, apparently I can keep my own phone number with MagicJack, but it isn’t clear from the instructions how to do that. Any input would be appreciated.

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littlegamma August 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Before you do anything, make sure you are happy with Magic Jack. I know many people who are not.

After that your best bet is to contact ATT.com for info on that info and talk to a support person. Be careful, though, as they will do everything in their power to keep you with them.

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Educe August 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I returned the Magicjack. After doing some research I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth training my wife to do FAX over VOIP. ATT has it set up that way, but wasn’t sure about MJ. Seemed like a lot of trouble, but you would save a lot of money. But Uverse has caller ID on my TV which is something of a plus. Oh well not ticking of my wife is worth the extra money! Gotta keep the peace!

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JS August 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

If you have decent internet speed, 2 mb/s at least, I’ve found that Ooma is worth its money. You pay nothing for the phone service and I’ve found that the international rates are very cheap. If you have your Ooma hooked up to your land line, then whenever the power goes out, you can still call 911. If your land line is still active then you can use that as a second line. One last thing, and I’m not sure if this applies to the Ooma Telo, but my Ooma hub can turn my land line ports to Ooma ports if I have a special adapter.

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robert August 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

I do not own a cell phone. The government or anyone can track you wherever you go if you carry a cell phone ! I will keep my land line !

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nimd4 August 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

Lol, while that maybe true it’s still way over-paranoid. What I got from this is:

“..and there are plenty of reasons why.” – NOT – because the costs of mobile phones have rocketed (along with everything else, no idea how they imagine we’ll be paying for all this stuff). Remember how little text messages used to cost (practically nothing) and check out the (insane) prices now.

The maintenance cost of land lines has been steadily increasing, in order to get us all to switch over to cell phones and then they can jack-up the prices of cell phones some more, introducing new technologies, faster internet, useless touch screens with time-wasting games and unneeded social sites.

Have a picnic, play some soccer, football outside with your friends; as opposed to waving a plastic controller in the living room (lmao). There is no point, it’s just plain crazy. Give us back cheap communication, now! Workers are getting laid off, everything is done by machines – but instead of getting cheaper, we pay more and more! No sense in it, no reason. Just. Plain. Robbery.

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Noel August 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I pay Virginmobile £5 per month for 100 minutes, 3,000 Virgin-to-Virgin minutes and 3,000 texts. I own the mobile. = £60 per year.
My landline costs £13 per month for line rental alone. = £156 per year. Calls are extra and I own the phone.
How are mobile prices rocketing?

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TaxedEnuff September 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

Until 4 years ago, I had AT&T for a land line. They’d promised THE best price. Ahem, that changed after they got me rooked into their web of deceit. Before long, that so-called “best price” went from $25 a month to $52 a month….for BASIC local service!

Then along came Cox with an offer I couldn’t refuse! High speed internet with a land line would only cost $30 a month. VOILA! I switched, but within a year and a half, that suddenly became $50 a month! They’re all crooks & liars IMO, until they get your business.

I asked about dropping the land line since I’d gotten MagicJack for long distance.
Well, screw me over again! In order to save any money, I had to switch my land line service to essentially an emergency outgoing service.

I’m allowed 30-minutes per month, with unlimited incoming for $7.50. Otherwise I would have to buy my own modem. It just wasn’t worth the hassle! So bottom line, I’m still paying $50 per month for HS internet and a land line and $20 per year for local and long distance using MJ. I also use a pay-as-you-go Virgin Mobile cell phone for emergencies. Cost? $20 every 9o-days!

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deborah September 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Well, I cut the cord with AT&T last week. I was really livid with them! They were insisting that I was behind a month on my bill and I knew for a fact that I was definitely not! (I keep records like you would not believe) So after fighting with them and getting nowhere I called them up the next day after paying the bill that I DID NOT OWE and canceled my service. I then wrote the big wigs at AT&T and explained why I left after ten years with them. (by the way they did the same thing to me a couple of years ago so I am wondering how many other people are being screwed this way and how much they are making off of us with this rip-off)

By the way, I LOVE EXEDE Satellite. It works great and my worry about going over my 7.5 GB limit for the month was not necessary. I still have 3.5 GB left and it starts over tomorrow!!! They also have started a nice addition to their program. Free Sat from midnight till 5 AM seven days a week! For we out in the boonies this is a great deal, though, I know it is a joke if you are on cable or DSL.

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Ginny September 14, 2012 at 7:17 am

Live in rural Virgina and am keeping my landline after a electric storm knocked out my tower for 3 weeks and that gave me no internet or phone. I have the cheap Verizon landline plan – but what kicks up the cost are the fees and taxes which are as much as the landline cost. So it is $16 for the plan and $14 in taxes and fees. Oh, as a side note: getting service on a landline problem is difficult because Verizon makes all it money on the wireless business and could care less about its landline customers. IMHO

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Donna September 24, 2012 at 5:30 am

Personally I HATE talking on my cell phone. I usually only go out weekends with my kids and grandkids. Sometimes I spend several hours at a time on the phone. My landline has much better reception and there are never any dropped calls. Cell phones are mostly small and annoying to talk on and some get really hot after a short time. I do have a cell as a back up or when I’m out but though Virgin Mobile I pay as you go and it usually doesn’t cost me more then 10 dollars every 45 days. Occasionally I will have to throw an extra ten on it but it works out much better for me.

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Ken September 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Different countries and different phone/internet providers are going to have wildly different programs. I have no landline and cable internet as I write this. I also have basic cable TV service that I do not use, but it’s cheaper to keep the TV service as the cable company gets a kickback and will therefore provide a package price cheaper than only having internet service. My package price goes up each year as the special pricing expires, but a call to customer service to discontinue the TV service always gets me another year of “special” pricing. When I had my business a few years ago, I had a similar situation with my business phone service and DSL. When I closed my business, I no longer needed a landline. My cell phone is my sole phone and it works out fine.

Landlines or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) works when the power goes out due to the fact that most electricity outages are not due to the lines being down but switching gear or transformers on the blink. The telephone offices have battery backup as well. A good old fashioned telephone is not quite a dinosaur yet. It does have a rather reptilian aire, though.

Even if POTS lines go the way of the Dodo, don’t think the lines are coming down. We will still have the poles and wiring bringing us cable TV and Electricity and hopefully some more fiber optics. Some enterprising new companies may find that they can re-create the POTS business in a new way that will encourage people to reconnect. If too many people leave the system, costs for businesses will escalate into the stratosphere.

I don’t like using Skype for international calls or anything where I have to give them money as I am quite anti-Microsoft. The only way I call international on my cell is with a calling card. For some strange reason, all of the cell providers have usurious tariffs for calling overseas. If I was calling overseas more, it might make sense to get a landline again.

Going without a landline these days is a definite option. One just has to have some backup in place so they never get caught with a dead phone. My solution is a solar charging battery pack that will power and recharge my phone. If the phone is completely dead, I have to wait 10-15 minutes, but I try not to run the battery all the way flat. I also have a second battery that I can pop in. Sorry iPhone users, no replaceable battery.

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J. Star October 29, 2012 at 9:54 am

Reasons to have or keep a landline:
1. Emergency in event of power outage
2. Emergency 911 calls
3. Security alarm systems ( break-ins, fire, etc.)
4. Business land lines absolutely necessary

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Rafgtman November 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I find cell phones invasive. I have one to use when I want to use it but resent the fact that people are offended and angry when I don’t answer. There is no need to be connected every second of everyday. How about we have some down time. When we are having dinner or a conversation or watching a movie at home, there is nothing more irritating than to have the “blasted” cell phone ring and someone feels they must answer it. (of course this is with land line as well)
Illegally intercepting cell calls is much easier than a landline. The tap must be physically attached to the phone wire on a landline.
In my home we all have cell phones, that are dumber than dirt, no cable, only use Netflix as we don’t have a digital TV and a basic landline phone with service that has never gone out in the 15 years we have lived here. Think I’ll keep the landline. used 911 three time for medical emergencies and so nice to be able to focus on the ill child than relaying directions to the house.
All of you have a wonderfully peaceful evening, hope you can relax and spend some time reading a good book, okay on a phone, tablet or even “paper.”

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DJ November 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Landlines aren’t totally reliable either. My phone was out two full days and I couldn’t call 911 when I really needed it for my mother. I drove to my neighbors and their cell phone wasn’t working either. So I had to drive to town to get the ambulance. I found out that if the cell phone is somehow connected with your landline service it won’t work when the lines are cut. A cell phone would have helped me in this situation — a man at the post office said his was working. I’m really considering giving up my landline because it’s gone out several times and I have dial up thats 31.2kbps. I’m looking at the cost of cell phone service with internet. I can’t get DSL or Wi-Fi only Satellite and that’s limited also.

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Rafgtman November 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Sorry. I missed the point of this whole article. Go with the lowest priced landline, lowest cell and NO cable and use a long distance card. It’s hard to beat 2.5 cents a minute for long distance and they work anywhere. Live cheap, pay off the house, pay off the car and then you won’t have to worry about the cost of the phone.

Have a wonderful evening.

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Ricky November 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I too was considering getting rid my landline because it’s so expensive. However, I need a phone at home as well as my mobile phone. I bought a P* cordless phone with bluetooth to connect two prepaid cell phones. I tested it out to be sure I would be satisfied with the setup and sound quality. I called AT&T and I was about to cancel my landline; except for my DSL They informed me that I could have a basic telephone service for $7.74 a month without long distance and a charge of 3 cents per local call. So I am trying this out. If I do not like it I will add another prepaid cell service and cancel my basic local telephone service. BTW: AT&T will charge $5 add’l per month for just a “dry” DSL internet service.

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mariposa November 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

Just xxld ATT land-line, which I had for 30 years- most recently basic phone service in ATL cost $38.00 incl taxes.
We hardly ever use the land-line -either incoming or outgoing_incoming Robocalls !
We recently bought a Samsung S390G including Triple Minutes For Life with 1200 minutes for $99.99- that’s likely more minutes, than we will use in a year-
Besides this we have a U VERSE internet – so together, we are neither cut off nor pay a fortune- we figure we just saved $456.00- also our TV is only basic- what’s on is not worth getting cable – had cable for 3 months + Showtime- could easily live without that-

maybe when we get older and we and others don’t entertain us anymore……

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Peter November 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

When the cost of AT&T land line + DSL got too ridiculous, I switched to cable DSL and got the Line 2 app for my iPod. For $8 a month this gives me unlimited calls in the US and cheap rates overseas plus a regular phone number that outsiders can call – the iPod even rings like a phone – with voice mail, forwarding etc. I can use it anywhere I can log into a WiFi and voice mail is also accessible via my e-mail. Works on an iPad too, they tell me, and even on an iPhone as a way of reducing cell phone minutes to cut the monthly bill. As the iPod is not designed to be a phone, I found it better to use the setup with a bluetooth headset. Perhaps not a good idea in an area prone to power cuts.

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GMH December 7, 2012 at 9:19 am

My alarm system is tied into my telephone line.

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PhilC December 9, 2012 at 4:37 am

In the US we do not have a landline, we use prepaid sims on our unlocked phones. Unlocked phones allow us to switch carriers/plans whenever we want. We bought the smart phones while outside the US. We use MagicJack whenever possible. We don’t have internet at home bec. the internet provider could not bill us…via the internet. We share with a neighbor as do many in our building. Outside the US we use MagicJack or Skype and get prepaid sim cards for those very same phones. Free wifi is also easy to find. We usually live in the city but if we do not then we pay for the internet connection with a landline for the alarm system.

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mary poe January 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I want to know if I have to have an Internet connection for Ooma to work.

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