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(Chicago Breaking News)   Thirty percent of households have no land line, use only cell phones, as reliance on technol ------ (no signal)   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 361
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5897 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 May 2008 at 2:55 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-05-14 03:40:41 PM
30%'er here also, why use a land line when I have great cell reception all over the Houston/Humble/kingwood/woodlands area? For internet/tv I got a comcast $45/mo package, the cable internet is actually very good. It is fast and as far as I know has not gone down in the nearly 3 months I have lived here other then when a service truck took out the power line going into the apartment complex.

Screw land lines, if the phone companies are short on cash they should pull down all the old copper and recycle it.
 
2008-05-14 03:40:49 PM
Mnemia: dittybopper: You use your cell? It's great for a small scale emergency, like a medical problem or a car accident or something, but Cingularly worthless* in the event of a larger emergency. That's because for economic reasons, there isn't a lot of extra capacity. In a widespread emergency, they will be jammed beyond capacity.

Have you ever been in the middle of a widespread emergency? The same thing happens to the regular telephone network...they can't route through all the calls due to insufficient capacity. When I've tried to make calls out immediately before or after a hurricane (lived in coastal SC), it take sometimes dozens of tries to get through.


I've been in a couple, and near a couple.

In fact, I helped to provide communications when a water main break flooded the Verizon building in Schenectady back in 2000.

Cellphones were essentially useless, because everyone was trying to use them at once. They were overloaded.

Honestly, I've *NEVER* had a phone outage that I can remember. Every time I pick up the phone, I get a dial tone, even when the power is out. For instance, during a couple of ice storms where we've been without power for 24+ hours, we always were able to use the phone.

Now, land lines aren't perfect. They can go down and get overloaded. But it's much less likely than with with a cell phone.

One further anecdote: My place of work doesn't integrate cell phones into it's emergency communications plan. It depends on the internal phone lines, and on VHF/UHF handheld radios. The reason is that we can control our internal lines, and we can use radios for the times you need to be mobile, but a cell phone would be worthless in a true emergency because it would either be overloaded, or limited to just public safety usage.
 
2008-05-14 03:41:48 PM
land lines are for wussys and old ladies.

/don't think i would know how to use a line line anymore
 
2008-05-14 03:41:50 PM
Got to keep the landline; cell phones won't work in our trailer house. No cable or DSL available in our area either, and satellite internet is way too expensive, so no internet for us.

/yes, I know my state is backward
 
2008-05-14 03:42:44 PM
Kar98: Took forever to come back at all, and then all you could do was text for a few days, whereas land lines never went down in first place in my area.

This probably depends on whether the infrastructure in your area is underground, etc. I know that we experienced hurricanes where the landline service was knocked out for a week or two, much longer than cell service. They set up these temporary cell tower trucks around town that got things running in a hurry.
 
2008-05-14 03:42:46 PM
Qwest will never get another dime from me, ever again

The Telcos can go screw themselves
 
2008-05-14 03:42:50 PM
Mnemia: Kar98: Oh, and during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, guess what was the first service that went off-line? That's right cellphones. Hey, nice paperweight!

I bet it also came back up faster than a lot of wired phone lines that were destroyed.


Ham radio didn't go down at all.
 
2008-05-14 03:42:56 PM
Kar98: Oh, and during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, guess what was the first service that went off-line? That's right cellphones. Hey, nice paperweight!

What you mean dood? I can still play CONTRA when my phone doesn't have service?

Try *THAT* on your landline!
 
2008-05-14 03:43:26 PM
I only have a landline because it's bundled with my cable. I have caller ID on my TV now.

But it matters not to me, really. I never use the landline. I have been using my cell for everything for like 6 years.

In a related story... I had AT&T for my landline for the longest time. It cost me like $50/month, and I didn't even have caller ID. Now I have my phone through cable, and I get free long distance, caller ID, etc, and it costs me $14 a month.

Not a bad deal, really...
 
2008-05-14 03:43:31 PM
maudibjr: Mnemia: maudibjr: So I'm the only one who dosn't like people calling his cell? The reason i keep the landline is to let them all go to the machine and not be bothered at all.

You can screen calls on a cellphone too, you know.

But that still means someone called me and I had to be bothered to screen it.


Oh, I get it. You're just an a-hole.
 
2008-05-14 03:43:53 PM
I know people who only have the cell and it's a nightmare to get hold of them sometimes. I get the "Oh, I left it in my coat pocket and hung it in the closet and didn't hear it ring" or the famous "Oh, I turned it off because I forgot to charge it and the battery was running low and forgot to turn it back on."

/makes me nuts
//keeping my landline, tyvm
 
2008-05-14 03:44:42 PM
GurneyHalleck: Still waiting on the magical power of capitalism to take care of this problem.

Don't hold your breath, you still can't unlock a car door if someone is holding the handle.
 
2008-05-14 03:45:07 PM
We got cable internet in our house in 2003, but kept a landline for a while. Then we realized (a) we always used our cell phones instead of the landline and (b) 90% of our calls were collections agencies trying to find the deadbeat who had last had our number. When I got a phone call from someone he'd written a bad check to and realized this farker was STILL giving out our number as his (two years after we got it), we just got rid of the landline.

I just made sure first that calling 911 from our house went to our local cell tower instead of one in Philly, since we'd most definitely want the local cops to show up!
 
2008-05-14 03:45:38 PM
idrow: I know people who only have the cell and it's a nightmare to get hold of them sometimes. I get the "Oh, I left it in my coat pocket and hung it in the closet and didn't hear it ring" or the famous "Oh, I turned it off because I forgot to charge it and the battery was running low and forgot to turn it back on."

/makes me nuts
//keeping my landline, tyvm


They're just telling you that. Really, they just didn't want to talk to you.
 
2008-05-14 03:46:00 PM
Mnemia: maudibjr: But that still means someone called me and I had to be bothered to screen it.

Not necessarily. For example, you could get a second cell line and phone for business stuff and just turn the ringer off and check it at your convenience. I turn the ringer off on my cellphone entirely and then check for missed calls periodically. Or you could use one of the call screening services like GrandCentral.


Then I am buying and paying for a second cell, so i'm not saving anything over keeping the landline. I have the most minimal cell plane, so it is cheaper to have my cheap plan and a landline. and I am not bothered.
 
2008-05-14 03:46:16 PM
TMBGfreak: dittybopper: You use your cell? It's great for a small scale emergency, like a medical problem or a car accident or something, but Cingularly worthless* in the event of a larger emergency. That's because for economic reasons, there isn't a lot of extra capacity. In a widespread emergency, they will be jammed beyond capacity.

Text messaging pretty much always works. It's the only completely reliable way to be able to get a messaage out in that sort of situation aside from the internet.


*BBZZZZZTTTT*

Wrong answer.

Ham radio is the correct answer. It ALWAYS works because it doesn't depend upon infrastructure. What happens to your ability to text when the network is limited to public safety use only? Or you can't get a signal because the local cell site was destroyed?
 
2008-05-14 03:46:20 PM
No land line for 7 years. Currently have an iPhone, the three people I'd likely call during the day all have AT&T so I don't use very many minutes, over 2200 rollover minutes at the moment. But looking at adding a cable-based phone, which will only cost an additional $2 a month on a package deal.
 
2008-05-14 03:46:36 PM
idrow: I know people who only have the cell and it's a nightmare to get hold of them sometimes. I get the "Oh, I left it in my coat pocket and hung it in the closet and didn't hear it ring" or the famous "Oh, I turned it off because I forgot to charge it and the battery was running low and forgot to turn it back on."

/makes me nuts
//keeping my landline, tyvm


How does that help you contact the guy whose phone is off or in the closet?
 
2008-05-14 03:46:48 PM
During Ivan, Wilma, Katrina, Frances, and Jeanne, I remember that the only reliable way to contact someone was via cell phones. Since power lines (and with them, phone lines) were down all over the farking place, you could not get through to anyone via landline. Plus, the only person you could talk to was the "all circuits are busy" lady, but she was repetitive.

\Still doesn't understand why power, phone, cable, etc., is not all underground.
\\Yeah yeah, too expensive, blah blah blah. More expensive not to.
\\But I'm not in charge.
 
2008-05-14 03:47:24 PM
No landline here for about 5 years now. No telemarketers or campaign calls. Also, no more phone calls from people looking for the scam artist/deadbeat who had our landline # before we got it. Before we ditched the landline, we were gettting calls daily from people this guy owed money to. He was giving our number as his contact number. It was largely responsible for our decision to ditch the landline altogether.
 
2008-05-14 03:47:52 PM
dittybopper: Cellphones were essentially useless, because everyone was trying to use them at once. They were overloaded.

What I'm saying is that in a REALLY big disaster, that can happen to all phones anyway.

Honestly, I've *NEVER* had a phone outage that I can remember. Every time I pick up the phone, I get a dial tone, even when the power is out. For instance, during a couple of ice storms where we've been without power for 24+ hours, we always were able to use the phone.

Maybe the phones are better, with more excess capacity, where you live. It happened every time a big hurricane approached the coast in SC, because of the massive call volume. Both landlines and cellphones became almost useless. I suspect that the gridlock problem is MUCH worse when you're dealing with a mass evacuation of a few million people and not something like an icestorm or something.
 
2008-05-14 03:48:18 PM
I wish I could do without a landline. As it is, I'm in the boondocks and my only options for Internet connectivity are Dial-Up or a satellite service which I can't afford.
 
2008-05-14 03:48:34 PM
I must have a land line since cell phones don't work in the town where I live. (Victor, Colorado)
 
2008-05-14 03:48:38 PM
30% here as well since 2000 as many of you... I'm looking into Vontage or similar service since our house has a different area code than work. Thought we'd be nice to the neighbors and such, plus when the little guy gets into school, we'll have a "local" number. At the rate the carriers are going both of those should happen around the same time.

When we bought our house back in '03, a co worker bought a house in a nearby community. She did get a landline and said it cost her over $100 just to get it setup. We decided then and there we didn't need a landline. farking small telecos.
 
2008-05-14 03:49:13 PM
LurkinFarker: Ruca: I'm among the 30%. Why pay for a landline?

I pay for a landline so I can have a phone that works while I'm in my house.

/POS cellphone network


You could get a GSM/Quad Cell Repeater unit for your house, one of my friends did that and mounted the antenna up on his roof, he lived in a hilly area where the line of sight to the nearest tower was cut off just below the peak of his roof.
 
2008-05-14 03:49:15 PM
Mnemia: Satellites? Cell phones don't use satellites directly, and if they do indirectly then it's through the same channels as landline calls.

Some remote cell towers use line-of-sight microwave transmitters. I'm not familiar with their resilience during a solar magnetic storm, but I'd imagine they would be affected.
 
2008-05-14 03:49:35 PM
only have a landline for our home security system

//For my wife when I am not home
//Remington 870 is MY security system
 
2008-05-14 03:49:58 PM
dittybopper: Ham radio didn't go down at all.

That's great, and I'm sure it was helpful. I don't have a ham radio license or equipment.
 
2008-05-14 03:50:09 PM
AliasUndercover: Hasn't anyone read Cell?


I started to, but I have a wife who loves shiatty distracting sitcoms and a 6 month-old son. I have so many unread books collecting dust in my house that if there were a fire, the house would be finished in 1 minute.
 
2008-05-14 03:50:16 PM
idrow: I know people who only have the cell and it's a nightmare to get hold of them sometimes.


Sounds like they're tired of you calling and are screening you. I do it all the time. I never expect interrupt driven communication to work when I call someone either. I hate being interrupted at any random time and I assume others do as well. Leave a message or use a less obnoxious method in the first place.

 
2008-05-14 03:50:21 PM
I, too, am part of this 30%, for a little less than the last year or so. I kind of live out in the sticks, but a new cel tower was put up last summer. I have Sprint Mobile Broadband, and T-Mobile pre-paid cel service. Overall for my internet and phone service, I'm saving about $75/month over what I used to spend.

And for those who need to send faxes, there are free internet faxing services. Just Google "free internet fax". I've used faxzero.com, it works great. They include an ad on the cover page, but I rarely need to send a fax, so no big whoop.
 
2008-05-14 03:50:44 PM
I guess I am just a lazy SOB.. with the cell it's difficult cause then your cell has to be sorta near you all the time at home.. with land line you can have as many phones spread across the house and can hear the ringing better as well.

I guess if you live in a rented studio apartment a cell would be more ideal.
 
2008-05-14 03:51:40 PM
idrow: I know people who only have the cell and it's a nightmare to get hold of them sometimes. I get the "Oh, I left it in my coat pocket and hung it in the closet and didn't hear it ring" or the famous "Oh, I turned it off because I forgot to charge it and the battery was running low and forgot to turn it back on."

/makes me nuts
//keeping my landline, tyvm


Do you think they would be home to answer a landline all the time? Could be that they were just screening their calls and didn't feel like talking. That's something that annoys me about my cell. People take it personally if I don't answer because they think I see every little call. Sorry, I'm not going to answer while I'm taking a shiat, or bring it in the shower with me

/you'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel
 
2008-05-14 03:52:13 PM
wage0048: maudibjr: Mnemia: maudibjr: So I'm the only one who dosn't like people calling his cell? The reason i keep the landline is to let them all go to the machine and not be bothered at all.

You can screen calls on a cellphone too, you know.

But that still means someone called me and I had to be bothered to screen it.

Oh, I get it. You're just an a-hole.



The only reason I have a cell is because the wife insisted after we had a kid. Am I the only person who dosn't want to be able to be contacted everywhere?
 
2008-05-14 03:52:15 PM
I'm one of those that has both. I'd do away with the landline, but my mom insisted that I keep it--I told her "Fine, but you can pay for it." So she does.

Her reasoning is so that in an emergency, I have something to fall back on if one method of communication doesn't work. Cell tower outage in an earthquake? The landline might still work. Fire? I can call from my cell.

I remember when we had our "ice storm" in Seattle a few years ago, I was trying to call my grandmother from my cell phone (free long distance) to tell her we were all okay (as she tends to worry whenever there's a story in the news even saying we're getting more rain than usual). Couldn't get an outgoing line out. Picked up the landline, and boom, first try.

As cell networks get more reliable and coverage becomes more widespread and dependable, land line use is going to go downhill. In the meantime, I keep the ringer off on my landline--I don't pay for it and it's only there for an emergency. And to use to call my cell phone when I lose the cell phone.
 
2008-05-14 03:52:17 PM
dittybopper: Ham radio is the correct answer.


We get it, you're a ham. Good for you. Ham emergency communication is limited to emergency services and isn't really relevant to this discussion. It's not a personal communication device.

 
2008-05-14 03:53:09 PM
Interpersonal communication is WAY overrated.

Its really very simple, people; If I dont pick up, leave a farking message. Just like your IQ was that of a normal person.

/Thanks, and have a scientastic day
 
2008-05-14 03:53:14 PM
Broadcastdave: I havent had a landline since 2000 when I got Airtouch. Something like 40 bucks for 80 minutes or something along those lines.

I have 12 land lines, all off a T-1.
 
2008-05-14 03:53:15 PM
Mnemia:
Maybe the phones are better, with more excess capacity, where you live. It happened every time a big hurricane approached the coast in SC, because of the massive call volume. Both landlines and cellphones became almost useless. I suspect that the gridlock problem is MUCH worse when you're dealing with a mass evacuation of a few million people and not something like an icestorm or something.


There's probably a lot of truth to that. What people don't realize is that cell phones use land lines also.

Really though, the only way to pretty much guarantee that you can communicate is to get your ham radio license.
 
2008-05-14 03:55:45 PM
Don't need no stinking land line.
Buttsets

i306.photobucket.com">

i306.photobucket.com">
 
2008-05-14 03:55:57 PM
30%? I would've thought this was closer to 80-90%. These must be the same morons who still use WebTV. Or worse, AOL.
 
2008-05-14 03:56:49 PM
damiangerous: dittybopper: Ham radio is the correct answer.
We get it, you're a ham. Good for you. Ham emergency communication is limited to emergency services and isn't really relevant to this discussion. It's not a personal communication device.


That's news to me, and I've been a ham for 19 years now, using it for personal communications the entire time.

It is *NOT* limited to emergency services.
 
2008-05-14 03:57:39 PM
dittybopper: There's probably a lot of truth to that. What people don't realize is that cell phones use land lines also.

Sure. I'm also guessing some of this might have to do with SC having antiquated or insufficient telecom infrastructure, too. I'm just saying that having a landline isn't necessarily going to save you from a big disaster where a cellphone wouldn't.
 
2008-05-14 03:57:53 PM
Only 30%??? I thought that number would have been much higher. I haven't had a land line since 2005. Don't miss it. I even got the internet package through my cable company so I wouldn't need a land line. I don't see a reason to have both a cell phone and a land line, unless you have a home business, such as a telephone psychic or phone sex operator.

My sister and her husband have a cell phone, but treat it as a land line. They never leave home with their cell phone, and they only have one between the two of them. I think that they may be missing the point.
 
2008-05-14 03:57:54 PM
My fiance and I are considering getting a landline again so we can plug in our vintage pink roto-dial phone and fark with our houseguests.
 
2008-05-14 03:59:06 PM
unremarkable asterisk: You don't need a landline for DSL. Naked DSL for the win!

I think the official term is a "dry loop". I have one. It's cheap, works great. My cable provider is the shiat (not in a good way) so I gotta use DSL for intartube access.
 
2008-05-14 03:59:07 PM
dittybopper: It's actually kind of stupid not to have a dedicated landline phone, and I'm excluding all internet from that, by the way.

In an emergency, regular land line phones are the most reliable.

I can't tell you how many times we've lost power, and thus would lose internet phones and/or cordless phones. We have a standard $9.99 wired phone in the bedroom for times when our main phone (a cordless) won't work because of power outages.

You use your cell? It's great for a small scale emergency, like a medical problem or a car accident or something, but Cingularly worthless* in the event of a larger emergency. That's because for economic reasons, there isn't a lot of extra capacity. In a widespread emergency, they will be jammed beyond capacity.

Secondly, in a widespread emergency the cell network can be limited to just designated public safety phones. That makes your cell a worthless hunk of electronics.

/Wired phones
//Ham radios (no infrastructure needed).

*Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun




But how often does an emergency really happen? Around here, they said we could have an earthquake either next year OR sometime within the next 10,000 years.

10,000 years of monthly land line costs are pretty expensive for something that doesn't happen too often.
 
2008-05-14 03:59:12 PM
i started working for Comcast in Dec of 06. I get free cable and free internet. i could have gotten phone for just 15 a month. i decided that i didn't need a land line. have been without one since then.

\dsl sucks
\\dial up sucks more
\\\slashies FTW
 
2008-05-14 03:59:52 PM
I have a cell and my wife has a cell. I love them, because I can turn them off at night and either get some rest or some tail and not be disturbed. Unless those stupid neighbor kids are on my lawn...grrrr.....voicemail is my friend.
 
2008-05-14 04:00:08 PM
Good God, please don't call me on my cell. I don't need to be in constant contact with the world. I prefer land line. My kids are too young for cell phones, and I don't need their little friends calling me while I'm at work.

I carry a cell with a "pay as you go" plan. Costs me $.18/minute. I average about $5/month in calls. My wife has my cell number, my family has it, and work has it WITH a stipulation to only call if it's important, otherwise, leave me a message at home or at my desk.

I also don't have cable. I don't need to spend that much for TV that I don't watch (I'm not a TV snob, I just don't have time to watch), so I need the landline for DSL.
 
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