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Thread: Do I Need a Telephone in Addition to a Mobile Phone?

  1. #26
    Dead Men Tell No Tales Chasing the Horizon's Avatar
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    We got rid of our landline when we moved this spring. We hadn't used it in years because it got like 30 spam calls a day, almost all from robots where all you get is clicks and dead line so can't even tell them to stop calling, so we couldn't plug a phone into it anyway.

    I don't worry about power outages because my van can charge four devices at once, and it only takes like 30-45 minutes to fully charge the newer iPhones. I don't know exactly how many hours of idling in park I'd get out of a 26 gallon tank of gas, but I'm quite certain it would be enough that by the time it ran out, I'd have far bigger issues. I can see how someone who lives alone (so can't rely on other household members' cell phones) might want a back-up if their cell phone got lost or broken, though. Probably depends on the person whether a prepaid cell phone or landline makes more sense as a back-up, though.
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  2. #27
    Bartender, gimme a Linux Mint Matera the Mad's Avatar
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    Welp, I don't have a cellphone. I use my Googleyphone for everything. Kept landline so far in case I had to make an emergency call when the Interwebz goes bampf (rare, but it does sometimes), or electricity is knocked out in a storm, but it would save $ to drop it. [sigh] Will probably have to soon. Nobody's hiring elderly computer whisperers around here.
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  3. #28
    permanently suctioned to Buz's leg Putputt's Avatar
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    We have a landline, but I keep it unplugged because:

    1. My parents think 7AM is a perfectly good time to call.

    2. Wee hippo's new favorite activity is picking up the landline phone, dialing random numbers, and going, "Hewwo? Hewwooow?" She's called some pretty befuddled people before I disconnected the phone.

    We don't miss it. Everyone we actually want to talk to have our cell numbers.
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  4. #29
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    I dunno if this is just a weird British thing, but a lot of online forms (healthcare, shopping, job applications, security clearance forms, you name it) specifically request both landline and mobile and won't go through without it. I've used forms that will specifically only work with mobile numbers, and forms that will only work with landline.

    It's really bad design, and frustrating, but there's definitely been a few situations where I've been glad to still have both.
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  5. #30
    Bartender, gimme a Linux Mint Matera the Mad's Avatar
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    In my experience, if you don't have a cellphone you are often not considered a real human bean. If you don't want to give any phone at all, you are relegated to the howling wilderness of reCAPTCHA, doomed to squint forever at tiny blurs and click in vain. Also, if you use the same land # for two different things you may be looked upon as some kind of hakabot. It's almost as bad as using the "wrong" web browser (which happens to be every one I prefer). Makes it hard to enjoy being honest.
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  6. #31
    Cultured vulture Albedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMaree View Post
    I dunno if this is just a weird British thing, but a lot of online forms (healthcare, shopping, job applications, security clearance forms, you name it) specifically request both landline and mobile and won't go through without it. I've used forms that will specifically only work with mobile numbers, and forms that will only work with landline.

    It's really bad design, and frustrating, but there's definitely been a few situations where I've been glad to still have both.
    That's terrible. If nothing else, it's flagrant discrimination against the homeless.

  7. #32
    Player of the Year nighttimer's Avatar
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    I still have (and pay ATT damn their souls) for a landline. Do I get spam and solicitation calls? Yeah, but so what? I've added my phone (landline and cell) to the Do Not Call registry. It doesn't stop the annoying calls completely, but it slows them down considerably.

    Then there's the aspect of landlines still working when the cell phones don't because there's been a natural disaster and the towers are down. Then there's the 911 issue.

    In addition to the better reception traditional phones often provide, many households also keep them for emergencies and 911. When you dial 911 from a landline, the dispatcher can generally see your address right away. Assuming you have decent reception, how many seconds might you lose when you call 911 from a cellphone?


    These types of questions are being raised as part of a broader discussion between the Federal Communications Commission, Congress and the public safety and telecommunications industries, which are exploring whether more should be done to pinpoint a mobile caller’s location. This has become even more challenging now that more people call 911 from deep inside four walls, often made of thick stone or concrete, and not under an open sky or in a car.


    A report in August from a California group of emergency professionals thrust the issue into the spotlight: Its data suggested that an increasing number of mobile emergency calls were being delivered without the caller’s location in five California counties. While the mobile operators disputed the findings, the report caught the attention of regulators.


    So before you cut the cord, or even change providers to save money, here are some factors to consider:


    911 Any subscriber to cable television has surely been bombarded with pitches to sign up for “triple play” services, which include cable television, Internet and phone service.

    The phone service is generally delivered using a technology called voice over Internet protocol (known as VoIP). When households subscribe to that type of phone service, they typically must register their residential address with the company, which is used when 911 is called.


    Most providers try to verify the address, said Trey Forgety, director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association, a trade group.


    Time Warner, for instance, says it verifies each address down to the apartment number — or the latitude and longitude, if you live on a farm, for instance — and registers it in a database. So when you call 911, the operator should immediately know your address and phone number. The same goes for callers with traditional landlines.


    Contrast that with a wireless phone: When someone dials 911, the call goes to an emergency call center associated with the cell tower the phone is using. The dispatcher receives the phone number and the address of the cell tower and can probably tell the broad direction from which the call is coming. But it could take another 20 to 25 seconds for the dispatcher to receive a second batch of data with the specific location (which comes as longitude and latitude coordinates).

    And there is always a bit of “fuzziness” associated with your exact location, which Mr. Forgety described as less a specific spot than a fuzzy circle. And that information isn’t always available.


    “There can be problems if you are deep inside a building where the signals don’t penetrate well,” said Mr. Forgety. “Or you can be in an urban canyon. GPS doesn’t work that well with lots of tall buildings around.”
    Antiquated and quaint as it may be, there are still definite advantages to landlines that cell phones can't match. I'll trade getting a faster 911 response over binge watching Game of Thrones on my iPhone 8, thank you very much.

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  8. #33
    Travelling around the sun cbenoi1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post

    And there is always a bit of “fuzziness” associated with your exact location, which Mr. Forgety described as less a specific spot than a fuzzy circle. And that information isn’t always available.
    It was about 50m - 300m back in 2014 as old handsets lacked GPS electronics and positioning was done through cell tower triangulation. It's better now that most smartphones have a GPS chip which sends coordinates along with the 911 signal. The app I installed on my cell shows a variance between 6 and 16 meters and I'm in my home's basement and surrounded by cinder blocks. That's 50 feet. If the police can't find my body within a 50 feet radius, a landline ain't giving me any advantage.


    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    “There can be problems if you are deep inside a building where the signals don’t penetrate well,” said Mr. Forgety.
    If one is so deep inside a building - say a multi-level underground parking - the odds of having a landline handset nearby are pretty slim. And if you are lucky enough to be close to one, what the 911 operators are likely to see are the building coordinates, not exactly where inside that building you are.


    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    “Or you can be in an urban canyon. GPS doesn’t work that well with lots of tall buildings around.”
    Let's get real. With the phasing out of public pay phones across North America, good luck finding one if you are outside.


    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    But it could take another 20 to 25 seconds for the dispatcher to receive a second batch of data with the specific location (which comes as longitude and latitude coordinates).
    This can be a valid argument although technology only gets better with time. Legislation, which mandates a minimum set of requirements, always lags technology by at least a decade. E911 rules were put in law in 2007.

    All in all, I still have a landline. Will always do. The classic 'Ma Bell one. Not the VOIP variety. I don't trust VOIP battery life. It's an issue not only during long power outs, but also with my alarm system which is linked to a central phone service.

    -cb
    Last edited by cbenoi1; 09-08-2017 at 11:22 PM.

  9. #34
    practical experience, FTW
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    Yes.

    No further clarification required.

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  10. #35
    practical experience, FTW MRFAndover's Avatar
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    OK. Well as soon as I get my cash flow in order, we know what I'll be doing...

  11. #36
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I seems to me that most 911 calls get your location by asking. So this would be quite a lot of money just to account for a scenario where you need emergency help, in your home next to your phone, when you can dial but you can't speak.
    Emily Veinglory

  12. #37
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I seems to me that most 911 calls get your location by asking. So this would be quite a lot of money just to account for a scenario where you need emergency help, in your home next to your phone, when you can dial but you can't speak.
    911 calls are tracked if there's no one on the other end, or even if it's a hang up. This happened to a friend who absent-mindedly dialed 911 when he was trying for 411 (directory assistance) and hung up before it rang. Twenty minutes later, two cops showed up at his door. Mortification and explanations followed. I don't know if they can track the location of a cell phone call as easily. It seems like it might be possible if location tracking is turned on.

    The likeliest situation I can think of for needing a "silent" 911 call would be if you awaken in the night and know someone is in the house and don't dare speak in case they hear you making the call, or maybe in a domestic abuse situation, where you need to make a 911 call without the spouse knowing you've done it, or if someone is being assaulted and manages to grab the phone. I suppose it could happen medically too. There have been cases where a service dog dialed 911 (on autodial) when their owner was incapacitated, but that's a situation the person had clearly prepared for in advance because they had a health issue that made it possible they'd need a non-speaking 911 call to go through.

    Whether the extra money is worthwhile would depend on the particulars of one's situation.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 09-17-2017 at 07:44 AM.
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