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(Wired)   AT&T has found yet another way to screw over Americans   (wired.com) divider line 21
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6088 clicks; posted to Business » on 28 Feb 2013 at 9:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-28 09:41:14 AM
What is the age limit for a land-line?  Does anyone under 35 have one of these things?
 
2013-02-28 09:43:38 AM
Meanwhile, consumers in other countries not only have better access, but they pay far less for far better services.

USA USA USA!
 
2013-02-28 11:36:04 AM

tricycleracer: Meanwhile, consumers in other countries not only have better access, but they pay far less for far better services.

USA USA USA!


But surely it's that mysterious "last mile" that's the real cause for high prices on high speed connections and not telco's greed. I heard it right here on Fark so surely it must be true!
 
2013-02-28 12:06:00 PM

poughdrew: What is the age limit for a land-line?  Does anyone under 35 have one of these things?


Cute quip, but only a third of US households are cell-only.
 
2013-02-28 12:34:00 PM

poughdrew: What is the age limit for a land-line?  Does anyone under 35 have one of these things?


I don't know, but I see homeless people with cell phones now a days.
 
2013-02-28 01:03:32 PM

midigod: poughdrew: What is the age limit for a land-line?  Does anyone under 35 have one of these things?

Cute quip, but only a third of US households are cell-only.


I am one of that third, but when I was disconnecting the land line, the provider sent me letters and told me in phone call messages that "emergency calls won't work unless if you are on a land line." I knew it was BS, but most of my co-workers keep their land line only because they believe this crud.
 
2013-02-28 01:27:45 PM
If the FCC is smart, this is exactly what they need to take (regulatory) control of IP networks without much argument*.  If their mandate revolves around use, rather than specific technology, they'll be able to claim that the use of IP networks for phone communication falls square within their mandate and it'll be very difficult to claim otherwise.  They must then have regulatory control of IP networks which carry voice (all of them), becuase that is the actual, original mandate from Congress.  Before, this would be expanding their mandate.  Now, it won't be an expansion at all.

*Well, there will be lots of complaints, but you know what I mean.
 
2013-02-28 02:40:54 PM

pkellmey: midigod: poughdrew: What is the age limit for a land-line?  Does anyone under 35 have one of these things?

Cute quip, but only a third of US households are cell-only.

I am one of that third, but when I was disconnecting the land line, the provider sent me letters and told me in phone call messages that "emergency calls won't work unless if you are on a land line." I knew it was BS, but most of my co-workers keep their land line only because they believe this crud.


I haven't had a landline since I left college, and that was the one in the dorm.  Prior to that, my parent's house.

So in essence, I've never paid a telco for a land-line in my life.
 
2013-02-28 02:56:49 PM
For those of you that have never been in a disaster or emergency situation, and think landlines are a joke, I wish you well as to the best of my knowledge VOIP and cell have not been proven to be reliable in these situations nor in many cases to have the capacity to handle the call volume. When it comes to reliability from what I understand, landlines are the last service to get overwhelmed or go down. As such I would not EVER trust my life entirely to VOIP or Cell. They do have their place and purpose but not during times of an area emergency or disaster. As such I have no plans ever to give up my personal landline.

Think about this: a single, large, EMP, such as from a nuke, way high up can fry all the electronics in your auto, home, cell towers, and server farms, but not your landline if mechanically switched - i.e. relays. Landlines are still the single best backup communication service we have when all else fails.

Do phone company want you to know this? Of course not! They, like most businesses, are more interested in profits, rather than service. They could care less that you die because your phone doesn't work when you desperately need it to. They even have a term for this - collateral damage.
 
2013-02-28 03:12:08 PM

jimw: For those of you that have never been in a disaster or emergency situation, and think landlines are a joke, I wish you well as to the best of my knowledge VOIP and cell have not been proven to be reliable in these situations nor in many cases to have the capacity to handle the call volume. When it comes to reliability from what I understand, landlines are the last service to get overwhelmed or go down. As such I would not EVER trust my life entirely to VOIP or Cell. They do have their place and purpose but not during times of an area emergency or disaster. As such I have no plans ever to give up my personal landline.

Think about this: a single, large, EMP, such as from a nuke, way high up can fry all the electronics in your auto, home, cell towers, and server farms, but not your landline if mechanically switched - i.e. relays. Landlines are still the single best backup communication service we have when all else fails.

Do phone company want you to know this? Of course not! They, like most businesses, are more interested in profits, rather than service. They could care less that you die because your phone doesn't work when you desperately need it to. They even have a term for this - collateral damage.


you must work for Ma Bell.

Look if a nuke is being set off, I don't care about calling Tricia to chat about the housewives of Jersey Slums anyways.

If landlines were so absolutely essential, the government would pay for me to have it.
 
2013-02-28 03:25:45 PM
Duh. Switch technology is just as obsolete as newspapers, camera film, and going to the library to hunt down a fact. Ten years ago I said switches would be gone in 20 years, and I'm holding to that.
 
2013-02-28 03:39:05 PM

jimw: For those of you that have never been in a disaster or emergency situation, and think landlines are a joke, I wish you well as to the best of my knowledge VOIP and cell have not been proven to be reliable in these situations nor in many cases to have the capacity to handle the call volume. When it comes to reliability from what I understand, landlines are the last service to get overwhelmed or go down. As such I would not EVER trust my life entirely to VOIP or Cell. They do have their place and purpose but not during times of an area emergency or disaster. As such I have no plans ever to give up my personal landline.

Think about this: a single, large, EMP, such as from a nuke, way high up can fry all the electronics in your auto, home, cell towers, and server farms, but not your landline if mechanically switched - i.e. relays. Landlines are still the single best backup communication service we have when all else fails.

Do phone company want you to know this? Of course not! They, like most businesses, are more interested in profits, rather than service. They could care less that you die because your phone doesn't work when you desperately need it to. They even have a term for this - collateral damage.


Back in the "old days" my land-line phone service used to go down regularly when a fallen tree branch fell on some wires or a lightening strike hit a transistor.    I wouldn't count on service during a nuclear winter.
 
2013-02-28 04:05:12 PM
Think about this: a single, large, EMP, such as from a nuke, way high up can fry all the electronics in your auto, home, cell towers, and server farms, but not your landline if mechanically switched - i.e. relays.

Most of the Mechanical switches have been replaced and sold to Mexico. If you have caller ID in your area, you do not have a mechanical switch.
 
2013-02-28 06:06:49 PM

jimw: For those of you that have never been in a disaster or emergency situation, and think landlines are a joke, I wish you well as to the best of my knowledge VOIP and cell have not been proven to be reliable in these situations nor in many cases to have the capacity to handle the call volume. When it comes to reliability from what I understand, landlines are the last service to get overwhelmed or go down. As such I would not EVER trust my life entirely to VOIP or Cell. They do have their place and purpose but not during times of an area emergency or disaster. As such I have no plans ever to give up my personal landline.

Think about this: a single, large, EMP, such as from a nuke, way high up can fry all the electronics in your auto, home, cell towers, and server farms, but not your landline if mechanically switched - i.e. relays. Landlines are still the single best backup communication service we have when all else fails.

Do phone company want you to know this? Of course not! They, like most businesses, are more interested in profits, rather than service. They could care less that you die because your phone doesn't work when you desperately need it to. They even have a term for this - collateral damage.


But if all electronics are damaged, wouldn't your phone be damaged too?  Wouldn't the phone of the person you are trying to contact be damaged as well.  It's fantastic that a mechanically switched landline would be functional, but if you don't have a working phone, what's the point?
 
2013-02-28 07:44:42 PM
Missleading headline subby, I work for Verizon and I call BS on you
 
2013-02-28 08:01:21 PM
I love how their building has the faded remains of the old Ma Bell logo on it.

www.wired.com

A picture really is worth a thousand words.
 
2013-02-28 08:15:35 PM
That's why ya gotta pick up an old phone at, say, a secondhand shop...and keep it stashed away.

I'm not ever gonna dump landline.
 
2013-02-28 10:29:15 PM

ChubbyTiger: If the FCC is smart, this is exactly what they need to take (regulatory) control of IP networks without much argument*.  If their mandate revolves around use, rather than specific technology, they'll be able to claim that the use of IP networks for phone communication falls square within their mandate and it'll be very difficult to claim otherwise.  They must then have regulatory control of IP networks which carry voice (all of them), becuase that is the actual, original mandate from Congress.  Before, this would be expanding their mandate.  Now, it won't be an expansion at all.

*Well, there will be lots of complaints, but you know what I mean.


That's far too logical to ever come about.
 
2013-03-01 03:49:23 PM

HatMadeOfAss: But if all electronics are damaged, wouldn't your phone be damaged too? Wouldn't the phone of the person you are trying to contact be damaged as well. It's fantastic that a mechanically switched landline would be functional, but if you don't have a working phone, what's the point?


Well, really, what you're talking about is how an EMP affects electronics and how that relates to what's in your phone.  An EMP can be though of (for this purpose, anyway) like an incredibly massive lightning strike.  So what you're talking about is shorts in components.  The typical POTS system telephone contains four basic components - the speaker/microphone handset, the hook switch, the ringer, and the dialing mechanism.  Out of all of these, you're really only looking at the dialing mechanism as being vulnerable to overvoltage of the sort we're talking about with an EMP.  The microphone/speaker could be zapped, I guess, but the hook switch is just a mechanical switch and the ringer is just a bell/relay that runs on an AC signal from the phone company.

So, now let's look at the dialing mechanism.  There's two kinds of dialing mechanism - pulse and tone.  Pulse is the old rotary style.  The rotary part of a rotary phone is basically a big mechanical interrupter that works on the DC voltage coming down the phone lines.  In other words, it's nothing more than another mechanical switch that toggles the DC voltage sent by the phone company to generate a number.  Now, a tone generator, however, is more complicated.  A tone generator takes four binary inputs to generate sixteen possible combinations of DTMF tone.  These are usually integrated circuit size and are much more vulnerable to overvoltage than the rest of the mechanical components in your telephone.

But remember what I said about thinking of an EMP like a lightning bolt?  Phone systems have all sorts of grounds and protections to prevent overvoltages on the system.  If lightning strikes your house, your phone is usually toast.  But if lightning strikes a mile from your house, there's generally something on the phone line that will keep it from coming inside and frying your stuff. 

So, to answer your question (finally), if there's an EMP, would it fry your phone?  Probably not a rotary phone, maybe not a touch tone phone, depending on where you are and whether the phone system can handle the voltages on the lines.  So having an old school rotary phone to plug into your mechanically-switched phone network is the surest way to make sure you have phone communications if there's an EMP.
 
2013-03-02 12:36:38 AM
Not only that, but I'mma get me a....yeah, a rotary phone sometime.

I got two shops cased already as a source.

As long as I can figger out how to re-wire the thing to fit the jack, if I need to....

Thanks for the reminder, phyrkrakr
 
2013-03-02 04:32:31 AM

jimw: For those of you that have never been in a disaster or emergency situation, and think landlines are a joke, I wish you well as to the best of my knowledge VOIP and cell have not been proven to be reliable in these situations nor in many cases to have the capacity to handle the call volume. When it comes to reliability from what I understand, landlines are the last service to get overwhelmed or go down. As such I would not EVER trust my life entirely to VOIP or Cell. They do have their place and purpose but not during times of an area emergency or disaster. As such I have no plans ever to give up my personal landline.

Think about this: a single, large, EMP, such as from a nuke, way high up can fry all the electronics in your auto, home, cell towers, and server farms, but not your landline if mechanically switched - i.e. relays. Landlines are still the single best backup communication service we have when all else fails.

Do phone company want you to know this? Of course not! They, like most businesses, are more interested in profits, rather than service. They could care less that you die because your phone doesn't work when you desperately need it to. They even have a term for this - collateral damage.


What if a volcano opened up under your house? Would your phone still work then? I've been cellphone only since my freshman year of college and never had an issue. I paid for a landline once to get a good deal on DSL but I never bothered to hook a phone up to it. My parents have a landline but it buzzes when there is rain. Landlines aren't needed anymore for most people.
 
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