Weekend Open Forum: Do you still have a landline at home?

By on April 27, 2012, 7:00 PM

You might've laughed at that question as recent as a decade ago, but between expanding cellular coverage and affordable VoIP services, conventional landlines are increasingly redundant. I haven't had a wired phone in five years or so and I only know a few people who do -- at home anyway.

I acknowledge that fixed lines still offer an advantage in reliability and quality, making them ideal for businesses. But do you still have one for personal calls? If so, do you use it regularly or is it just bundled with your cable/Internet package and worth the few bucks a month to you as a backup?

**Phone pic via photofun/ShutterStock




User Comments: 57

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

If I could get rid of my landline I would, but here in the UK where I live you HAVE to have a landline to get the Internet, really sucks as I'm essentially paying for something I have never used or plan to ever use... Sigh, the day the whole UK catches up with decent speed broadband will be bliss...

Scorpionking20 said:

Heck yeah! I'm not very fond of being tied to a cell phone. Plus my land line rings in 5 rooms in my house. The only bummer is that its too pricey!

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Just for Internet, there is no phone on it.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

Not since 2005!

tonylukac said:

We have Ooma internet landline service, which cost $4 per month. I have a prepaid cell phone, but I just can't see forking over $100 a month for a smartphone plus initial costs, altho I'm a hypocrite and program android apps on the pc stimulator. Things you get on the landline that you don't get on the mobile are call screening - answering machine to listen to calls as you receive them (plus voice mail when power/internet are down; seldom, unlike comcast) -, phones in every room, multiple people can talk to the same caller at once, automatic charging, call forwarding, detailed call logs, and others. Many incoming calls are lost on my att prepaid phone, never on Ooma landline. Ooma even gave us a free subscription to consumer reports just like that. The next improvement I think would be to get rid of the prepaid phone, but I have $300 rollover minutes on it. Ooma gives you 5000 minutes for $4/month. Why not have a landline when it's so cheap?

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If I could get rid of my landline I would, but here in the UK where I live you HAVE to have a landline to get the Internet, really sucks as I'm essentially paying for something I have never used or plan to ever use... Sigh, the day the whole UK catches up with decent speed broadband will be bliss...

Yeah it sucks to have to pay for something you never use. But for £25 I get BT infinity, 75Mbps down and 16Mbps up, so can't really complain about the total phone+broadband price, some countries have it much worse.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

No way left a landline behind over 10 years ago. Galaxy Note tablet/phone ftw.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If I could get rid of my landline I would, but here in the UK where I live you HAVE to have a landline to get the Internet, really sucks as I'm essentially paying for something I have never used or plan to ever use... Sigh, the day the whole UK catches up with decent speed broadband will be bliss...

No you don't. I am with Virgin and there is a choice for Telephone or not. Or unless that is choice for just extra features by default and the Telephone service comes bundled up by default.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Dry loop DSL and a cell phone, and I haven't had cable TV in over 3 years.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Still do and will for the foreseeable future. It's cheap, reliable and I can use the fax feature on my printer for the rare occasion I need to.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Funny I read this on here because I am seriously thinking about getting rid of ours. I'm not sure if it's because it rings off the hook all day, telemarketing/surveyors, or the fact that I never seem to be within 50ft of a cordless phone when it rings and nobody ever puts them back on the bases!

Scshadow said:

I don't see myself ever having a landline. I'm renting with my parents and they have a landline but I have $45 a month unlimited service for my smartphone with a prepaid monthly service. And wherever I move to, I hope to make sure they have fiber optics or at least cable internet as dsl would force me to have a landline.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

No landline here. I live at the very bottom of a valley, though. So cell coverage is occasionally problematic. Luckily, I don't spend any extended time talking on the phone so it's not too big of a deal.

Guest said:

Just got rid of my land line. It was required with ADT home security and was locked in a 350$ cancellation contract fee with the current installer. Once the contract time was completed, i dumped ADT and picked up with USAA's home service package with ADT and had the cell tower box installed. No longer needed the land line and made the old grouchy lady at TDS even more crabby when i told her to cancel my service.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Landline here in our home is never optional when it comes for Internet connection. There's a phone bundle for every package. Besides, we have a huge coverage for signals throughout the region. So it's kind of big of a deal.

Nima304 said:

I cut my landline about a year ago. Never missed it, the only people that would call me were advertisers and spammers. Everyone else called my cell.

abe10tiger abe10tiger, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yes we do... we even have three of them. XD

inventix1136 said:

About 6 months ago we dumped our landline for MagicJack Plus and haven't looked back. Yes, we do have a single prepaid cellphone w. an average charge per month of $7, but most calls are through MJ and it works well.

One nice benefit of MagicJack Plus was that we went on vacation to India and we took it with us which allowed us to make free calls to our relatives here in the states and our "local home" number rang at the hotel so it was like we never left in terms of being accessible -- i.e. no international phone charges...

Guest said:

I dont pay monthly for a landline

But I use magicjack as my landline just $20 per year not bad

psycros psycros said:

Sure do, although its bare minimum - every outgoing call costs me. I typically just use it for toll-free numbers since its sooo much easier to use a real handset for those agonizing service calls (and the sound is so much better). I also don't want everybody knowing my cell number, plus I'm holding out hope for DSL someday. Besides, I can't stand not being able to make a call because my mobile has a dead battery.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nope, got rid of it couple of years ago.

baN893 baN893 said:

WHAT? There's people without a landline? Damn, haven't come across that in Switzerland yet.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

That would seem like not letting go of Win98 even when 8 is on the verge of release.

Anyway, back to the point. I never owned one in the first place. :P

mailpup mailpup said:

Yes, I still have a landline at home. I'm old fashioned that way.

TekGun TekGun said:

No you don't. I am with Virgin and there is a choice for Telephone or not. Or unless that is choice for just extra features by default and the Telephone service comes bundled up by default.

Actually Virgin don't cover the whole of the UK with their cable, so yea some of us are stuck using POTS. The only reason I have a land line is for internet access, which basically adds about £10 per month to my broadband bill.

Leeky Leeky said:

I still have a landline, although I don't tend to use it much. I can't stand my utility suppliers and other company's like TV Licensing ringing my mobile phone, so they all have my landline, and never get my mobile number, despite continually trying to do so.

I'm with Virgin Media here in the UK, using fibre-optic broadband. I think the difference between having a landline and not having one is like £2-3 a month when you take out broadband, so not too bothered really. I also have a HD TV box from them as well, which costs me nothing monthly, gives me all the freeview channels (plus a few more) and catch up and on-demand TV for nothing extra. Saves on a digital aerial, and the whole digital switch-over rubbish our country is phasing in right now.

If it was costing me more money I'd consider Skype and getting a landline number through them, but a couple of quid a month to have a landline really isn't all that bad. We also suffer a lot with 0845 (lets screw you loads on a mobile) numbers here in the UK, so having a landline for those alone makes sense - your talking ££'s to ring them from my mobile as its not included in the inclusive minutes.

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

My broadband package includes a landline, and I use it pretty frequently since local landline calls are free.

hitech0101 said:

Yup have one but i access internet through it, one the most affordable & fastest broadband around here, even without internet the phone would still be there.

Punkid said:

hells yes we have a landline...mobiles are for individuals...but if u want to contact a family, landlines are still the way to go. + my dad gets free landline service from his office, so why not :P ?

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

hope got cell and web.

Guest said:

Got rid of mine in somewhere around 2005.

Guest said:

I have a landline purely for Internet access, with no telephones plugged in. Living in the rural UK with only a 2G cellular signal, it's literally the only option, but I look forward to ditching it as soon as it becomes possible to do so.

Guest said:

I very rearly talk on phones in general. Txt msg works great, No I dont have a landline and im forced to buy 200 talk mins on my cell phone package that i think on average i use 20mins of that per month and thats only because im paying for it.

Guest said:

hells yes we have a landline...mobiles are for individuals...but if u want to contact a family, landlines are still the way to go. + my dad gets free landline service from his office, so why not :p ?

Skype and its free

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It come bundled with broadband so yes we do. Like others who can't get Virgin's 'heavenly' cable, I have no choice in having it.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

In Sweden it's actually less expensive to have a landline phone if you want DSL.

Otherwise you have to pay a kind of penalty fee if you want it without the landline... Very strange indeed!

Thankfully I have a 100/100 fibre connection and no copper based landline at all

Guest said:

Yes - and use it quite often - its more reliable and cheaper than using the mobile as in the UK the "national" and "local" numbers - often do not have an alternative (I know about saynoto0870.com that lists 0800,0870, 0845 and 0844 alternatives) and the line quality is poor.

As to Broadband - am getting a reliable 30mb service (download) 2mb upload, but the "fair usage" policy is reasonable, and when it cuts in - then for 5 hours the download is 15mb

Lionvibez said:

not since 2008!

tragicallyhip said:

I will always have a landline(vonage for me), I had a Cell Phone for a short time but was getting calls every damn minute,and always about stupid "stuff" that I felt was disrespectful of my time. Now the crap calls are gone and people are forced to leave messages at home where they belong.

trparky said:

I still have a phone in my house but it's VoIP from my cable company.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I've still got one... though I'm not sure why.

Tanstar said:

No. Not for over a decade.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oh hell no - I haven't had a landline in over 10 years and don't visualize a situation where I'll ever need one again.

Guest said:

we dropped our land line when we realized that we're getting more telemarketers calling than legit ppl. legit ppl call us on our cell phones.

Guest said:

I have a land line only because it is included in my Verizon FIOS package. It is largely unused because most calls come/go by our cell phones.

Butch said:

Nope. Just cell phones and Vonage. The only reason I keep Vonage is to keep the phone number I've had for 20 years because I still get occasional calls from old friends now and again on it..

cmbjive said:

When I worked for US West/Qwest/CenturyLink I would advise people to keep their landlines for 911 use only. Now that cellphones are more reliable than ever and emergency services can triangulate the phone's position, I think landlines are only useful for DSL. I got rid of my landline almost two years ago and have not looked back.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yep. I actually don't have a cell phone yet, though I'm planning on getting one soon.

Guest said:

Yeah, i still have one because here in india; bsnl is one of the best broadband service provider and to get their bb you need to have their landline.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think my old fashioned phone, which if I remember was mounted to the wall was dumped back in 1998. Back when good ole Pacific Bell was king in Sacramento, they've gone "belly up" since, probably bought out by AT&T!

Guest said:

Unfortunately in a lot of countries in the world, you either need a landline to get internet or it's cheaper to get the combined package. Having lived in UK, Brazil and UAE I can say that UK and Brazil require phone lines; UAE makes it cheaper to have one. I even ended up getting screwed by my phone company in Brazil because I went for the cheapest phone package and they subtly tried to give me a more expensive one until I complained to the regulator. Here in Dubai VOIP is blocked so you can either use an illegal VPN to make foreign calls or deal with internet only calls. It's all still a bit of a challenge - bring on the revolution

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