What’s The Point of a Landline Phone?

I looked at the missed calls on my landline telephone the other day and realised that the only person that ever calls me on that number is my mother. There was no other missed calls except for an 0800 or an 0845 number- dubious numbers that I mostly tend to avoid.

Retro telephone

Do we really need landline telephones

So it got me thinking – what exactly is the point of having a landline? The only 2 reasons I can think of in this day and age is 1) ADSL Internet and 2) Sky.

Both our current Internet access and Sky TV require landline telephone lines and this obviously incurs line rental charges from BT or your local loop provider.

When I lived in New York, I decided not to install a landline. At first, I wasn’t sure quite how I was going to connect to the Internet without it, but after a couple of phonecalls to the local cable TV providers, it was clear that I could get high speed internet via Cable – and their cable TV did not require a landline.

So for 2 years I went without a landline and no-one noticed. Not one person. Unlike here, in the US, most numbers, be they landline or mobiles, use the same area codes. Thats because they are charged for incoming and outgoing calls over local and long distance phonecalls – by long distance, this means out of state rather than overseas.

However, unlike here, there was very little difference whether you call from or to a mobile. That’s not to say the US have a good mobile network system – on the contrary, Europe is way ahead of them for our tariffs, messaging and standardised systems. However, it was no issue just owning a mobile.

What about long distance? Well, thats even more simple- just use Skype or any VOIP (internet telephony) service and that should get your costs down drastically

So, if there was ever a cable network to really rival Sky its looking highly likely that in the very near future I might just say goodbye to my landline altogether, saving quite a bit of money along the way.

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3 Responses to What’s The Point of a Landline Phone?

  1. That’s okay if you have a mobile signal at home. I haven’t so, unfortunately, cannot dispense with my landline. Must canvas all my friends to sign up to SKYPE, so I wouldn’t need the landline. But then what would happen if I needed to dial 999?

    • gadgetmum says:

      Thats a really good point and of course, unless you have a mobile signal it would be almost impossible to give up a landline. But I think the aim is to get a mobile signal in 99% of the UK. There will be people that will probably always want a landline phone, but with more VOIP opportunities happening (not just Skype) there will be other options. And you’re absolutely right about the emergency numbers – Skype don’t handle them at all. Thanks for commenting – I really appreciate it and its great to see the arguments for a landline

  2. Roger White says:

    Another reason to keep the landline phone is the way in which any new phone nowadays lasts a maximum of 2 days, with slight use in one day meaning a charge will be needed in the evening. If you were to forget to charge it and the battery dies, you immediately have problems contacting people, and the landline phone is always relied upon as a back up. I know that there is Skype but is it just me that feels it’s a bit of a hassle to start your computer up just to quickly let someone know something?

    Completely agree with Lynda’s comment as well. People will always look for a landline phone to call upon the emergency services!

    Great post and discussion!



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