First, though it was before your time, there was the telephone party line. Are you old enough to remember the rotary dial? Next came the individual home phone with expensive long-distance service, which eventually came to be known as the “landline.” Then along came the analog cellphone with really expensive, spotty service, dropped calls and short battery life. After that came digital phones and smartphones and the end of long-distance—although phoning was still pretty expensive. The hovering question that remains has to do with landlines. Are they a relic of the past? More than 50% of American adults have ditched their landlines altogether. Should you keep yours?
What Does the Future Hold for Landlines?
As you will see below, there are significant reasons for hanging onto your landline. Before going there, however, it is important to recognize that landline technology has not languished in this digital age. Landlines can actually be hands-free. So, while you are holding a hot casserole dish in one hand and a cold pitcher of tea in the other, you can still call your mom to ask how long to leave the brioche in the oven. If you go with an Ooma home phone, your basic phone service is actually $0.00 a month, which is pretty low.
What Is VoIP Anyway?
So how can any phone company offer fee landline phone service? It has to do with your internet. Do you remember how the internet provider keeps trying to get you to bundle a landline with your cable bill and broadband? Instead of paying for that extra service, just go with VoIP (voice over internet protocol). This means you are speaking over the internet. As long as you have a phone adapter, your computer does not even have to be on. You may wonder if the service will be as dependable and the quality as good as your internet provider offers. Yes, it will. That bundle they keep trying to sell you is probably VoIP as well.
Is It Really Necessary to Have a Landline?
The world may not end tomorrow if you do not rediscover the convenience and quality of a landline. However, there are certain distinct benefits to having one:
- Medical data transmission typically requires a landline.
- Home security systems often require the use of a landline.
- Faxes, which are much more convenient than scanned, emailed documents, can be sent over landlines.
- 911 operators know immediately where you are if you call from a landline.
Sometimes adopting the newest, best technology means taking a step backward. The landline has returned.