The end of landlines? - Page 2

Seniors fear deregulation may leave them without service


"The earlier definition of basic service was from 1996 so there was a need to update that definition to include wireless service," said Johnston, adding that the commission approved redefinition of "basic service" in December. That redefinition included offering Lifeline to "wireless and non traditional providers." The definition reads: "Any basic service provider offering basic service must offer Lifeline rates on a non-discriminatory basis to eligible customers within the region where the provider offers basic service."

But the service isn't yet available for wireless or VoIP — and some fear that the current program will eclipse before a new one is in place. Johnston said a meeting is set for January 29 to discuss the scope of rules for Lifeline, and public hearings will be held around the state later this year to address this and other issues related to telecom deregulation.

The argument that landline phones are dying out may have some validity, but their benefits and practicality are evident — take for instance weather emergencies. After Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast a few months ago, many towers providing service to cell phones went down. Landline users, however, were unaffected and still able to get in touch with family and emergency services.

According to Johnston, the commission is well aware of the benefits. "They want to make sure the wire line remains available because it has traditionally been the more reliable service."

The notion that landlines phones are becoming obsolete has some consumer advocates rolling their eyes. "Most people in California have both cell phones and landlines," said Toney.


they are for cable TV or internet. Right now, many houses thave three types of wire going into their house - landline, cable TV and internet. There is no reason any longer why any home needs more than one.

So, for instance, you see all these "three in one" ad's which provide a landline but thru a cable and modem. Why not?

I have a land line that works perfectly, and no copper from a phone company.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 11:22 am

lines going into the house--telephone and cable TV--with internet traveling over one of them.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 25, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

Our household is probably one of the few that does not have cell phones or cable television, although I know some others. The sound quality from a cell phone is generally way inferior to the good old-fashioned copper wire landline.

I understand the advantages of cell phones for mobility and constant availability. But it comes with a cost (at least $50/month,) and for those of us who came of age without cell phones, we can still function just fine without them.

Finally, don't most traditional businesses still use landlines from AT&T? What will happen to them if AT&T pulls the plug? Must they depend on cell phones with crappy sound quality?

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

I managed to avoid feeling like I needed a cell phone for the longest time.

Eventually, I was given one by a "tech-savvy" employer and I found the ability to remain in contact even when a landline was out of the question to be quite seductive and quite satisfying: sometimes I could handle work over the phone while I remained out doing fun stuff.

Over the long haul, though, it seems possible that the *loss* of freedom -- the freedom from being in contact -- may indeed balance any gain.

If we had a choice of getting our work instructions either through the mail or through electrical impulses directly our skin -- which would be more efficient? Which would we prefer?

Perhaps the technology is not expressing inate Human traits.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

when there were no more pay phones.

I knew where all of them were in the Mission, as they went away or went un-repaired I had to get a cell phone from work.

You can get one for 30 bucks a month from metro pcs, if you wait for a special you can get one for less.

Cable TV is all infomercials.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 24, 2013 @ 12:29 am

BART stations still have them.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 24, 2013 @ 7:31 am

Good point regarding businesses, though a lot use business phone companie's it's still ATT wire. Also I wonder about ATT DSL 3 tiers of which use copper land lines. Fiberoptics for the rip off u-verse and the 4th tier of DSL.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

I loves my land line, cell reception in my corner of the North Mission is as good as one might find in a remote Tennessee holler. And if you keep a non-mobile handset about you can use that land line when the power is down. We got an alligator clip-on old school repair person's handset for use in just such an emergency.

But that iPhone is a lifesaver for the internet in my pocket when I'm out and about, not to mention games to alleviate boredom while standing in line or waiting somewhere.

Posted by socram on Jan. 24, 2013 @ 7:57 am

I'd really hate to see landlines go extinct. I'm making do right now with a smartphone and Skype, but I would love to get a landline again one day. In my experience nothing beats them for great, consistent sound quality and the sweet, sweet freedom from dropped calls.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:23 am

Traditional landlines are not affected by power outtages, or internet outtages. THAT is the reason that they will have to pry mine from my cold dead hand.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 6:20 am

I always use a landline whenever possible because the conversation always flows better. Whenever I receive a mobile call in my office, I forward it to my landline.

Mobile conversations feel less than synchronous with too many hesitations due to inability to hear the other person well. Often there is too much background noise with mobile users or the sound quality is impaired when using Bluetooth earpieces or car systems.

The audio quality of a landline is almost always superior to mobile phones. My TimeWarner cable VOIP phone at home is 99% as good as a POTS line, but I've have some technical glitches that TimeWarner cannot fix. There are two additional reasons to maintain a POTS landline, which we do, with the first being our security alarm requires it for communications and secondly we will have phone service during a power outage or disaster.

Posted by matthew on Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:03 am

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