Landline phones still relevant for emergency communication

BY Allconnect | Fri Oct 24, 2014
Landline phones still relevant for emergency communication

Consumers and telecoms alike are leaving landline phone companies behind, despite the urging of the FCC to consider how a slow transition may offer greater net benefits in the long run. One of the key arguments for a slow phase out of landline phones is the bevy of key services that landline phones provide. Improving technology will eventually allow wireless phones to assume the full functionality of landline phones, but consumers should be wary of abandoning their wired phones before considering what the aged technology advantages still has to offer. Ditching service from a traditional home phone provider too soon could greatly inconvenience a family or put their safety in jeopardy.

Location, location, location
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. Few life-threatening situations allow homeowners enough time to hold a proper conversation with authorities and describe the present threat. Homeowners may only have enough time for three button presses, but in homes with a landline phone this quick reaction is sufficient to reach out to the police. Thanks to landline phones, quick thinking and a free hand can provide authorities with all the information they need to interceded at an emergency.

Planning for disasters
Disasters, ranging from natural phenomenon to terrorist attacks, are impossible to predict. Such an event could easily leave a family stranded in their home and unable to communicate with the outside world. Power outages turn the situation dangerous when blackouts eliminate communication over the Internet or wireless phones. Landline phones are lifesavers in these situations, according to the Boston Globe. Traditional copper wires carry minimum amounts of power used to sustain phone lines when a natural disasters threatens the country. Wireless phones will 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.

Landlines as safely hubs
The reliability of landline phones in the face of extreme circumstances is one of their main draws. This feature also makes landline phones as ideal central meeting place that families can use in case of an emergency. Ready.gov notes that a central meeting place is an essential part of any family emergency plan. In addition, having family members memorize the landline number will ensure that the kids and adults will always be able to reach the family’s emergency phone. State governments sometimes use landline phones to broadcast safely memos and information, and in these cases a working landline phone becomes a priceless resource. Homeowners may never utilize their home phones for any reason beyond its utility as a just-in-case device, but this functionality alone is well worth the minimal costs of holding onto a landline phone.

Few financial benefits
Another reason that homeowners stand to gain little from abandoning their landline phones is the reality that homeowners are hard pressed to find savings in ditching the wired phone experience. 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 as part of the bundle may actually end up paying more for their services than they would with the triple-play. The lack of incentives, plus the many drawbacks, makes ditching landline phones appear to be a premature decision.

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