Consumers and telecoms alike are leaving landline phone companies behind, despite the bevy of key benefits that landline phones provide. Consumers should be wary of abandoning their wired phones before considering what the aged technology advantages still has to offer when it comes to efficient emergency communication.
Ditching service from a traditional home phone provider too soon could greatly inconvenience a family or put their safety in jeopardy.
Calling 911: cell phone vs. landline service
One of the most important aspects of owning a landline phone is the ability to remain connected “to the grid.”
Signals sent and received by your landline phone are tied to your home address, and can be used to locate your home in case of an emergency, says The New York Times. Cell service, on the other hand, is dependent on location identification technology, which is still improving in accuracy.
Few life-threatening situations allow homeowners enough time to hold a proper conversation with authorities and describe the present threat, but landline phone service can provide authorities with all the information they need to intercede.
Natural disaster communication: cell phone vs. landline service
Disasters, ranging from natural phenomenon to terrorist attacks, are impossible to predict and could easily leave a family stranded and unable to communicate with the outside world. Power outages make dangerous situations worse when blackouts eliminate digital and wireless phone communication.
Landline phones are lifesavers in these situations, according to the Boston Globe. Traditional copper wires carry minimum amounts of power to sustain phone lines when a natural disaster threatens your home.
Wireless phones only last as long as their charge and battery life in similar situations. Preparation for a disaster, natural or otherwise, is one of the leading reasons why many consumers refuse to give up their landlines.
Household safety hubs: cell phone vs. landline service hubs
The reliability of landline phones in the face of extreme circumstances makes them an ideal family meeting place in case of an emergency. Ready.gov notes that a central meeting place is an essential part of any family emergency plan.
State governments may also use landline phones to broadcast safely memos and information, and in these cases, a working landline phone becomes a priceless resource. Cell service has also become a popular way to broadcast national announcements, but the cordless nature and depleting battery of cell service may leave your family unaware or scattered if the phone is misplaced or without power.
Financial benefits: cell phone vs. landline service
Another reason that homeowners stand to gain little from abandoning their landline phones is that homeowners are hard-pressed to find savings in ditching landline phone service.
Some triple play bundles from internet and cable providers include home phone service as part of their cost. A homeowner attempting to order television and cable a la carte without a landline may actually end up paying more for their services than they would with the triple play.
Providers that offer cell phone service will keep wireless and residential services separate, so bundle deals featuring cell phone service are few and far between.
If you’ve been wondering, “Should I replace my landline with cell phone service?” then all signs point to not necessarily. With few financial drawbacks, landline phone service can be your greatest asset during an emergency, and a wired connection along with a wireless one could put your family a step ahead in times of crisis.
Originally published 10/24/2014. Last updated 01/18/2019.