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Landline Holders Increasingly Older, More Affluent 616

netbuzz writes "More than a quarter of the under-30 crowd has decided you only need one telephone — and it sure as heck does not plug into a wall. The trend towards an all-mobile lifestyle is accelerating, according to a new survey. Besides younger people, lower-income people are also more likely to have cut the cord. And while businesses may be a bit slower on the cell-only uptake, there appears to be little doubt at this point that the traditional landline will be joining rotary dials and party lines as a relic of the telecommunications industry."
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Landline Holders Increasingly Older, More Affluent

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  • Kind of a concern (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kittenman ( 971447 )
    .. really. I use service, reliability and cost to determine whether I go wireless or not. It's not how sexy the ads are. Maybe the article is saying that under-30s are more susceptible to advertising?

    Oh yeah, I'm over 30. So what.

    • Re:Kind of a concern (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Osty ( 16825 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:48PM (#19125577)

      .. really. I use service, reliability and cost to determine whether I go wireless or not. It's not how sexy the ads are. Maybe the article is saying that under-30s are more susceptible to advertising?

      I'm just barely under 30 (I'll be turning 29 in a couple months), and I've been landline-free since shortly after purchasing a home in 2003. I found that the extra ~$25/mo for a landline was completely wasted since I

      • Never used it
      • Didn't need it for DSL or Tivo
      • Rarely made any phone calls while at home
      • The only people calling me on it were phone spam for charities and crap
      For me, it made financial sense to save the extra $25/mo I was paying for basic service. My cell works just about everywhere, including Canada (though I have to roam, which I'm fine with as I rarely go to Canada), I always have it on me, and the $40/mo plan I'm on gives me 1000 minutes a month with free, unlimited nights and weekends. However, I'm also an anomoly in terms of phone usage for my age group. I spend an average of < 30 minutes a month on the phone, as most of my calls generally sound something like, "Hey it's me. Yeah, I'll see you in a few minutes." I upgraded to a RAZR last fall, but otherwise I keep my phones for several years. I've been month-to-month on my current plan since 2002 when my initial contract expired, and I'd rather pay for my own phone than re-up a contract to get a "free" phone.

      Personally, I couldn't go back to using a landline. It's a useless technology for me, and as long as I have cell coverage I'm happy.

      • by futuresheep ( 531366 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:56PM (#19125655) Journal
        We thought the same thing until we had two periods this year with no cell service for a minimum of three days each. One was due to storms and flooding, the other was due to wind storms. Because we live a bit outside of our metro area, we were among the last to have cell service restored. We had relatives that had no way of contacting us to see if we were OK. No cell, no cable modem, no dial up because we didn't have a landline. Landlines were still working BTW, this was verified by a few people in town we talked to later on. So now, we pay $16.00/month for a landline, if only for the added security of being able to call 911 if we need to, and to be able to let our family know everything is OK. Landlines still have a place in this world, sometimes it takes an emergency to remember what that is.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Osty ( 16825 )

          We thought the same thing until we had two periods this year with no cell service for a minimum of three days each. One was due to storms and flooding, the other was due to wind storms. Because we live a bit outside of our metro area, we were among the last to have cell service restored. We had relatives that had no way of contacting us to see if we were OK. No cell, no cable modem, no dial up because we didn't have a landline. Landlines were still working BTW, this was verified by a few people in town we

          • We had a huge windstorm this past winter. I was without power for a week, and had friends who were without for nearly two.

            It wouldn't suprise me if we live in the same area.

            During that entire time, my cell phone continued to work perfectly. I used my car to keep the battery charged.

            I live in a rural area, we have fewer towers to lock onto, and I was told by my wireless company that service would be restored according trouble tickets and population density.

            Your experience prompted you to get a landli

        • Re:Kind of a concern (Score:5, Informative)

          by znu ( 31198 ) <> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:23AM (#19125851)
          You should be able to call 911 on any landline that's physically connected, even if you don't pay for landline service.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nametaken ( 610866 )

            I leave a very simple (requires no wall power) phone plugged into the land line, which is not activated, for exactly this purpose. I use my cell exclusively (work pays the bill) and if I need 911 and the cell is unusable I can go to the regular phone.

            If I ever decide I need a phone line in the house, I'll shop around for Voip.

            I know lots of people that have gone this same route.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by spitzak ( 4019 )
            If you switch to DSL only service on Verizon (which I did because it cut $40 off the phone bill) you don't get 911. This despite the fact that the line is still connected, and the terms of service say "you don't get 911 except in Vermont" which I assumme means it is quite techinically possible but only Vermont has forced them to. You can call 911 on a "disconnected" phone with no service however.

            Really crappy that they can get away with this. Fortunatly there is a disconnected phone line going into the hous
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Doogie5526 ( 737968 )
          Yeah, but at events like Cochella they can bring out mobile cell towers so people can get temporary service in the middle of the desert. Why can't this be achieved during emergencies too? When I lived in FL we lost power/phone after a hurricane it took a couple weeks to get service back (who knows how many buried/tangled lines they had to repair). For emergency service it sounds a lot easier to strategically place a few vans all over the town while restoring the local infrastructure.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Usually you can dial 911 even if you don't have a landline account, same goes for a mobile phone. Turn it on, dial 911 and you'll be connected.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by trawg ( 308495 )
          Of course the alternative is likely too - storm smacks down phone lines leaving landlines useless! As you suggest, best option is redundancy.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Of course the alternative is likely too - storm smacks down phone lines leaving landlines useless! As you suggest, best option is redundancy
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jridley ( 9305 )
          We have cell phones, but we also keep our land line because we have almost completely useless coverage at our house. We can get a signal but it's barely there, and calls drop out about every 2 minutes, and if someone calls us, half the time they go to voice mail because our phones happen to not be connected right that moment.
          If they ever fix the coverage out at our house, we'll think about dropping the land line, but as it is, it's the only 99%+ reliable communications we have, and phone service is conside
      • I spend an average of 30 minutes a month on the phone

        I have the same idea about phones, only about 30 minutes a month. When I finally switched from my old "big bag" analog phone (jus in March), I went for T-Mobile minutes only. I bought a RAZR for $160, and 1000 minutes for $100. I used about ~300 minutes in the first month, but dropped down a lot since then. What I like, is the flat rate ten cents a minute. So the first month was about $30, but much lower since. It's a lot less than $40 per month...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Doogie5526 ( 737968 )
          One thing I do hate about cell phones is the quality of service is a lot lower. It's a big reason I don't have as many long phone conversations. I hate worrying about battery, signal quality, and if they heard what I'm saying.
    • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:55PM (#19125639)
      Its nothing to do with susceptability to advertising... the fact that its lower income, and under 30 makes perfect sense.

      Everybody likes the convenience of a cellphone... the younger you are the more conversant with technology you are, so you are more likely to have one. If you only have one phone - older people will have landlines, younger people will have cellphones. Just as in 1990 younger people embraced computer word processors while many older people still used typewriters.

      No surprise there.

      As for landlines being skewed against low-income its simple. If you can only afford one phone (or only wish to afford one phone) the mobile is infinitely more flexible. If I had to choose between cutting my landline (ok ok voip line) or cellular bill, it would be a no brainer - the landline would go.

      So no surprise there either.

      In my case the only reason I have even a voip line in addition to a cell is I run a small business and wanted an 'office line'. The voip bundles free N.A. long distance, good intl rates, caller id, voicemail, and some pretty decent call management features all for a price less than what I used to pay for landline.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        The article could be rephrased as "younger poorer people tend not to own homes at which landlines are installed".

        Like, duh.
  • Businesses... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by setirw ( 854029 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:39PM (#19125501) Homepage
    Hmm... the article mentioned businesses switching exclusively to mobile services.

    It would be interesting if a wireless carrier introduced PBX-esque switching and operation. If service is good enough (a factor I'd assume holds most people back from ditching the land line), I'm sure a lot of small businesses would forgo a PBX-based telephone for a more easily set-up wireless based system.

    I'd certainly get a cell phone with blinky lights that indicate a call coming through on line three! :-)
  • by redelm ( 54142 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:40PM (#19125509) Homepage
    I've used cellphone for a _very_ long time (starting with radiophones in the 1980s). The voice quality is seldom good enough for a personal conversation which depends on tone-of-voice. Yes, I'm aware there are some services that are remarkably good. Most are not, and render a phone little better than a walkie-talkie.

    That's fine if that's what you value. Me, after many stubborn years, I've learned the fine art of the two hour phone call. And that takes a quality phone line where you can hear the other party breathe. Otherwise, it's just multitasking distractions. Yuck. I do too much of that at work to want to run my personal life that way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by saleenS281 ( 859657 )
      Or perhaps you just need to break up/stop talking with the psycho that's causing you to have continuous *personal* 2 hour phone calls at the age of??? That was cool when I was 16, then I grew up.
    • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:12AM (#19125789) Homepage

      "there appears to be little doubt at this point that the traditional landline will be joining rotary dials and party lines as a relic of the telecommunications industry"
      Only when/if they fix the inherent problems that currently plague wireless telecom. If you care about being able to hear and be heard, and for your phone to Just Work when you want it to (rather than being dependent on how the ionosphere's behaving today and battery charge), there are still good reasons for holding onto a landline. Wire has benefits that - in many situations - outweigh the benefits of wireless.

      Yes, I am over 30... thanks for asking. I'm a member of the "hear a pin drop" generation of telephony users, whose standards appear to be a bit higher than the kids', and who just might have a bit of perspective that the under-30 set has yet to achieve. Don't get me wrong: I have and use a cell phone. But I have and use a landline more often, because I've come to depend on the features it offers... and which wireless does not.

      Maybe the teens of today will change their standards when their hearing starts to deteriorate. Maybe they'll just never know what they're missing... and not miss it. I don't know. But I do know that you'll have to pry my wired handset from my cold, dead fingers. And I don't plan for that to happen for another 40-50 years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I don't know what 3rd world country you live in, but here we have excellent coverage and quality. In a blind-test I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between a landline and a mobile phone, and the landlines are really good.

        On second thought... I think many 3rd world countries would be in an uproar if they had the kind of service you describe.
  • I'm in that category (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:40PM (#19125511)
    "More than a quarter of the under-30 crowd has decided you only need one telephone -- and it sure as heck does not plug into a wall.

    I'm in that category - I own a mobile, but unfortunately, here in Australia, you need to rent a landline from the monopoly PSTN provider (Telstra) if you want to have broadband internet (ADSL anyway).

    So I have a landline I never use.

    God they're filthy (Telstra) - hopefully we'll have a change of Government soon & get rid of the current spineless Prime Minister John Howard - who can't stand up to Telstra.
    • by fabs64 ( 657132 ) <beaufabry+slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:18AM (#19125821)
      Can't really blame telstra, a company does that, tries to make money.

      Blame the silver-spooners for selling our goddamned infrastructure.
      The only thing worse than a public monopoly is a private one, and we don't need multiple networks.
    • Also, in Australia calls to Mobiles cost the person calling you, so if you have no landline, all those people who want to chat to you for hours on the phone would need to pay huge rates per the minute. Compared to a local untimed call which is, what, 30 cents or so.

      In the US isn't it the case where the receiver pays? It was something like that for txt messages etc when I was over there, thereby making mobile spam horrid as you ended up being charged for receiving spam, whereas here in Aus if they spam you i
      • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @03:33AM (#19126977)
        In the US for voice calls it is billed per time on the air. So both receiver and sender pay, if they are both on mobiles. Basically the way a plan works is you get a certain number of minutes of airtime, generally unlimited at night and during the weekend when the cells are underutilised and a total pool of like 1000 during the week. Any time your phone is in a call, time is deducted from those minutes. Doesn't matter who made it, or what kind of phone is on the other end. Also many companies don't charge airtime for calls that stay on their system. So if you call a person and you are both with the same provider, no minutes are deducted for either party.

        The only time you pay overcharges is if you exceed your airtime allotment, or you place a long distance call to a place that isn't included. Most plans include the entire US, so any call in the US is considered local. However they generally don't include international calls so you pay per minute for the call, same as you do with a landline. International calls to you are no different than any other, you don't pay anything other than airtime.

        The net effect is that so long as you don't exceed your minutes, there tends to be no extra charges over the monthly plan rate.
    • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @03:09AM (#19126875)

      So I have a landline I never use.

      Yes, you do. You use it for DSL. How else do expect to get ADSL other than over a landline ?

      God they're filthy (Telstra) - hopefully we'll have a change of Government soon & get rid of the current spineless Prime Minister John Howard - who can't stand up to Telstra.

      Huh ? The Australian Government regulates the hell out of Telstra (and a good thing, too, given the circumstances).

  • Bandwidth? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:41PM (#19125515)
    Correct me if I'm wrong. If phone lines aren't hampered with having to carry voice communications, will DSL be able to grab more bandwidth?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by azenpunk ( 1080949 )

      that's sort of like saying that if blue light stops shining, won't red light get brighter? (not to be condescending)

      the phone calls and the dsl signal are handled by completely different machinery inside the central offices.

      except for the splitter in the DSLAM that overlays the two signals (at two very different frequency ranges) on the same wire it's all separate. the internet traffic goes through the DSLAM and up/out through a DS3 or OC3, while the plain old phone (POTS) traffic gets directed through
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tjb ( 226873 )
        Actually, the answer is yes.

        Annex I in the ADSL2 and ADSL2+ standards allows the upstream channel* to start start at tone 1 (4.3125 KHz) instead of tone 6 (25.875 KHz). Obviously, you don't get POTS in this mode - it's meant as an all-digital design for telco VOIP roll-out. It doesn't buy you all that much - 15 bits/tone * 5 tones * 4Khz data symbol rate = 260 Kbits/second. That's the theoretical maximum and most likely its going to much less than that since most existing modems weren't designed with thi
    • Not much, (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )
      Analogue phones are extremely low bandwidth. Like 4kHz. Really, not kidding. It's just analogue audio, and not very high quality at that. To eliminate any interference, DSL upstream starts at 25kHz and goes up to 138kHz, downstream is 138kHz up to 1104kHz. So if you totally eliminated the voice and used its spectrum, and you assumed that you get total efficient use out of it, you get like 18% more upstream.
  • I remember reading the term "Party Line" in Mad magazine. That lead me to believe that it was some kind of telephonic swingers service. Following the link from the article I'm even more confused than ever! What the heck is a party line?!!
    • Re:Party lines? (Score:4, Informative)

      by setirw ( 854029 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:49PM (#19125579) Homepage
      A single telephone line that serves more than one customer. Most often used in rural areas where it's not economical to install multiple lines. Privacy is nonexistent and I'd assume congestion is high.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Party lines died out in the 60s, I believe. Back in the day, it was easier for the phone company to run a single pair through an entire block of houses. So if you had a party line, it basically meant that you and your neighbors shared extensions. Everyone had their own telephone number, and the phones would ring differently based on which number was dialed.

      Needless to say this meant that every time you wanted to place a call, you'd risk interrupting your neighbors' conversations. It was cheaper to hook
      • by IANAAC ( 692242 )
        When I was a kid we had a party line at our cabin in Wisconsin, shared among 6 other cabins.

        My grandmother LOVED it.

        The phone would ring. She would wait until the ringing stopped. Then pick up the phone to listen.

        I would say "Grandma, quit being so nosey".

        She would say "I'm not nosey. I'm informed."

        The line was noisy enough that noone would notice she was listening in (or hear me tell my grandma she was being nosey, for that matter).

    • Party lines were lines on which multiple houses were on the same phone line.

      They were common in rural areas until the mid to late 80's even though most towns and cities had moved away from them long before then (which kind of puts them in the same league as telephone company-owned phones).

      I remember the farm my family owns still being on a party line when I was visiting my grandmother there as a kid (and I'm under 30). I was very glad when the phone company changed all of that - the other woman on that lin
    • Multiple phones hanging off one set of copper.

      Cons: Only one phone could have a conversation at a time since the copper is shared. Needs seperate ring patterns so you know who needs to answer.

      Pros: You can answer your phone if visiting next door if they're on the same party line. You can make "local calls" to others on the party line without going through the exchange.

    • Re:Party lines? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:59PM (#19125671)

      A party line is a single telephone line that you share with your neighbors. They were common in rural areas of the U.S. before WWII, probably becuase they were cheaper than dedicated phone lines (remember, back then each line was on a different physical circuit, and calls were switched by human operators).

      • Odd, my grandparents in rural northern ontario had a party line until a few years ago.

        Each one had a different telephone number and they had their own distinct ring for each number, but it was the same copper pair in each of the four homes on the line.

        I don't think they went out of service as long ago as you think.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sanat ( 702 )
      When I was a kid we were on a party line with eight other families. If you wanted to use the telephone you would pick up the receiver and listen for someone talking or listen for the dial tone and then dial the number.

      One had to be very careful what was said as often other neighbors would listen in on a conversation. Most conversations were brief and old people still have brief conversations from habit even though they might have a dedicated line today.

      Our telephone number was 226.

      If an emergency was occurr
  • Cutting the cord (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z0mb1eman ( 629653 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:43PM (#19125537) Homepage
    I probably would have cut the cord a long time ago, but every time I start looking at cell phone plans, I just get mad. Especially with the various taxes that are always listed separately. Look, I don't care if you have to pay this tax, that fee, your company's hydro bill or for your CEO's lunches, just tell me what the bloody thing costs.

    Besides, don't DSL companies still charge you the $10 or so for a landline?

    Anyone care to suggest a cell phone provider in Toronto that won't get my blood pressure up (too much? :p)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by david614 ( 10051 )
      I would cut the cord, but my broadband internet access is delivered via dsl. As this is quite a common situation (in the US and elsewhere) reports of the death of landline phones may be a little premature.
      • by Malc ( 1751 )
        This chap's in Toronto - he can get "dry DSL". That's DSL without a dial tone. Don't blame him for not wanted to with the utterly shit Rogers (only major GSM provider) or Bell/Telus (major POTS telcos with backwards N. American vendor-lock technology).
      • In fact this is why I got a landline. I don't want to pay for TV I don't watch and that will distract my kids, and I don't want wireless because I don't trust it.

    • pricing games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ( 463190 ) * on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:50AM (#19126025) Homepage
      What cracks me up are the radio ads that go something like "Are you tired of your complicated cell phone plan? Well sign up for Verizular's new anytime family direct, and enjoy 1000 free anytime minutes for only $26 per month to the three people you call the most on even numbered weekdays. What could be simpler! Rates subject to change, void where prohibited, network maintenance surcharge and cost recovery taxes apply...etc"

      It's the same as credit card promotions, grocery club cards and coupons, mail-in rebates, etc. You and I may realize how pointless all these offers are, but so many people love playing the game and thinking they got a great deal by finding the perfect plan that was made Just For Them. Nobody does anything unless there's some game aspect to it - warfare, terrorism, finance, dating, business, taxes, politics, you name it. We are so desperate to play games that we'll create them even for things as ridiculous as cell calling plans.

      And more importantly for the industry, the pricing games allow them to avoid to avoid their service becoming a simple commodity. If the plans reflected their actual cost structure they would simply charge per bit, and fierce competition would quickly drive everyone's margins to nothing. But as long as they keep it a marketing game of adding ridiculous "value add" services and tricking you into complicated pricing traps, they can keep gouging.
  • by jbarr ( 2233 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:45PM (#19125559) Homepage
    OK, I admit that I never caught the cell phone bug. I have one, but it's provided by work, so what model I have is their choice. I got one for my wife for emergencies and occasional use, and we talk with each other on it, but that's about all.

    So how do you handle extensions? You know, someone calls you, and you want to say, "Honey, pick up an extension." so you can talk together. Do you just 3-way the call?

    And how do you handle guests? Do you simply assume that if they want to make a call, they just use their own cell phone?

    I certainly have nothing against cell phones, I jut never really felt a pressing need.

    Oh, and how do you handle devices that need to "dial home" periodically? (ReplayTV box, DirecTV box, etc.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Osty ( 16825 )

      So how do you handle extensions? You know, someone calls you, and you want to say, "Honey, pick up an extension." so you can talk together. Do you just 3-way the call?

      Put the phone on speaker.

      And how do you handle guests? Do you simply assume that if they want to make a call, they just use their own cell phone?

      Yes. Or they can use my cell if they must, but I'd rather they use their cell. That's what I do when I'm a guest, so why should I do otherwise for guests of mine?

      Oh, and how do you handle

    • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:10AM (#19125771) Journal
      yes, you just ask your wife for a 3-way. Preferably when you've had a little too much wine, are watching a porno, she's looking at some other guy, commenting on the babysitters's ass, etc. Make it seem like it's her idea, and for her benefit As far as guests go, it's best to start off with her (or him) just doing oral, so it's not threatening.
    • >So how do you handle extensions? You know, someone calls you, and you want to say, "Honey, pick up an extension."

      I must have been corrupted by cells because I had to stare at that sentence for a minute before I realized what you meant.

      All good points.

      Biggest problem with cell phones is reliability of getting calls. If you forget to take your phone, forget to charge it, forget to turn it on, there's no warning that you're now off the grid. It's a little pet that needs constant care.
  • by dswensen ( 252552 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:45PM (#19125561) Homepage
    I converted to cell-only not because I'm always on the go or because of any cachet, but to avoid the constant barrage of telemarketer and solicitation calls I received at my land line. Getting on the "do not call" list was only marginally successful; most of the telemarketers who kept calling claimed they were exempt for some reason or another. It was a constant annoyance, and still the #1 reason I refuse to get a land line again.

    If we do go all-cellular, I wonder if the legislation about telemarketers being unable to call cell phones would change. I'm praying it won't -- I've been enjoying the peace and quiet, quite frankly.
    • What about calls from your cell phone service provider, trying to sell you cell phone service? Almost everyone I know gets those... (I wish I were kidding)
      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )
        I think I've only had two on t-Mobile. And after talking to the sales rep about the kind of customer I am (the kind who gets off contract and STAYS off, buying replacement phones unsubsidized) I never got called again. I also took the opportunity to make a few complaints the salesmen didn't have a response for. I think I'm on some unofficial "don't bother trying" list now. :-)
    • Yes -- the big advantage of a mobile phone over a land line for me is you can turn a mobile off when you need some sleep.

      Land lines are a huge revenue earner for the telcos, but it's not seen as a growth area. Cell phones and Enterprise VoIP are where they're going.

  • Paul McNamara, I suggest you get a different job. I suppose you were paid for the nonsense you wrote.

    Cell phones are nowhere near as reliable as land lines, and all VOIP phones are worse. Not only that, but cell phone providers and VOIP providers save money by being unreliable, and there is no evidence that they plan to change their behavior.

    I think you know this. That makes your lies fraud, in my opinion.

    I guess your handlers call themselves NetBuzz because they think they are good at advertising. But they aren't. They and you are just liars, in my opinion.

    Everyone who needs reliable telephone service has land lines, and there is no evidence that will change in the near future.

    Anyhow, we don't want your kind corrupting our discussions of technology on Slashdot. Stay away.
    • spoken like a true ILEC representative
    • Want to know why?

      Speakeasy (my provider) assures decent QoS. Of course it still relies on a solid internet connection - and that's absolutely what it's been for me with Speakeasy in the 4+ years I've been with them.

      I realize not all VoIP providers do this, but if you're willing to do a bit of investigation, you'll find that there are a few companies that do provide it. They won't be cheap, but if you're tired of the crap customer service provided by the Bells (the new AT&T), it's a decent, valid o

  • I haven't owned a landline in almost five years now. Even now that my wife and I live in another state, we still have our original cell phone numbers , which is a little awkward when giving our phone numbers to businesses as we have totally different area codes, but I don't think twice about it when giving my number out to a friend or coworker. The only reason I can see us getting a landline is for when we have kids and they have a 911 emergency or something. I know 911 cell phone calls are advanced, but
  • by riker1384 ( 735780 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:56PM (#19125649)
    That is sensationalist crap, the thing about landlines being obselete. Maybe young students or people with apartments, but come on. There are huge advantages to a landline. It's more reliable and jamproof, and if you want an extra phone you pay $10 at the grocery store instead of hundreds (and repeating that every few years as they get obsolete). The voice quality is better and it doesn't run on freaking batteries. It's on the wall so you always know where it is and you don't lose it in the couch cushions. I can't imagine having a house without phones on the walls. What the hell do you do if you have kids and you have to hire a babysitter? Leave her your cellphone? Then what do you call home with? You can call her cellphone from yours but then there's still no number for the household, say if the neighbors want to tell you there's a fire next door or a prowler. And so on.
  • I ca 't wa t f r th en ire worl to be o c ll lar te eph nes. he ell lar s rvic an ca l q ali y ha gr dual y g tte wor e to th po nt t at m st of the ente ce ust e gu ssed ro c ntext.

    I look forward to guessing the meaning of all my calls in the future
  • OH PLEASE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdboyd ( 969169 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:57PM (#19125661) Homepage Journal

    The business world has also seen an all-wireless trend - witness this project at Ford, for example - although the momentum there has been slower, no doubt because most businesses are run by people who are older than dirt.
    I'm sorry but when an author makes a misleading and uninformative statement like this it's bad journalism, even if they're trying to be cute.

    How about the slow adoption rate being because many businesses have their own PBXs and want to control their voice mail? For many companies, switching to wireless phones simply isn't a viable solution and probably won't be for a long time. Sure, they're more reliable than they used to be, but they're still not as reliable as POTS. Keeping track mobile phones may also be difficult. Example: My mom's work phone still had service over 6 months after she quit her job.

    Additionally, many companies would probably be reluctant to outsource their voicemail for security and confidentiality purposes. Besides, do you really want to answer work calls wherever you go? Talk about taking your work home with you. Work phones should stay in the office. If employees want to answer calls on the road, maybe their employer should consider some kind of call forwarding functionality. Juggling multiple phones for home/work/etc is not something I'm interested in.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:59PM (#19125673) Homepage

    I don't have decent cellular coverage in my house, and I live one mile from downtown Palo Alto in Silicon Valley. Five cellular stores (not counting the Apple store) within walking distance, and I have to go to a window to get more than one bar on the phone. Gigahertz RF doesn't go through trees, you know.

  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:00AM (#19125689)
    Cellphones will not completely supplant POTS land lines for some time. I never use my cellphone if a real phone is around. The call quality is better, the calls are cheaper, and as far as battery issues are concerned there is just no comparison. You don't even need a battery at all with POTS. What makes POTS a pain in the ass is the separate monthly bill to pay, since most people now have a cellphone bill anyway. Plus, there is Rotary Phone Disorder to contend with. People get attached to the technologies they're familiar with, if they think they work well enough, and they won't want to waste time learning how newfangled technology works. Old people especially seem to get stuck to the form of telephony they're used to. My own grandmother was still using a rotary phone just a few years ago until I found her one of those art deco touch tone phones with the buttons in the same positions as the old rotary dial finger holes.
  • Does VOIP count as cutting your landline? I just installed a VOIP-only Asterisk solution at work, and I am using the exact same setup here at home*. While I count as in the over 30 crowd, I have a cell phone, but I don't always carry it.

    I think that POTS is dead, and just does not know it. There is a use to VOIP at home, and cell while you are away from home.

    *(Now if I could just find a good FXO solution for my Asterisk Unslung NSLU2 at home... No, not for regular POTS.)
  • by phalse phace ( 454635 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:04AM (#19125725)
    Until I can get a cell signal down here in my parents basement, I've got no choice but to use a landline.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      Until I can get a cell signal down here in my parents basement, I've got no choice but to use a landline.

            May I point out all the possibilities that you could enjoy by moving into the attic instead?
  • This has to be the biggest "duh factor" /. post I've ever seen. We, as a people, tend to move toward new technology, discarding the old.

    But it reminds me of two other posts which led to a purchase of mine. 8 [] 59210 []

    Just because you're not paying for land-line service doesn't mean those wires in your walls need to go to waste, nor do you need to put up with lousy cell signals in your home. I'd like to see this s
  • I wonder if this study accounted for VoiP users as well for the sharp drop in regular landline users?
  • by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:41AM (#19125969) Homepage
    I'm an early adopter for technology I want (home theater in 1988, camera phone in 2003, PDA phone in 2005, etc.) and a luddite for technology I need (taxes -- pencil and paper until this year; taking notes at work -- pencil and paper; home phone -- land line until VOIP can be powered from telephone line current).
  • 'Cause let's face it: "Landline" just sounds cooler than, "Cellie."
  • by ianbnet ( 214952 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @01:05AM (#19126173)
    ... specifically at the socioeconomic numbers. The article mentions how hard it is to survey people with only cell phones (being left out of polls, and such), and then cites the study of households indicating that people with only cell phones are disproportionately lower income - more than just age would account for.

    How accurate is this? (I obviously need to go find the original survey). I know my own circle of friends - perhaps thirty people, all mid-20s, all professionals with good incomes and mixed race, and I can't think of a single person who has a landline. Maybe we're all on the cutting edge of pacific northwest young-adult culture, but the survey numbers from this study seemed way low.
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @01:24AM (#19126285)
    I'm a 42 year old Unix Admin and Software Engineer, so I'm comfortable with technology. I do have a cell phone, but almost never use it. I pay $10/month and have it for emergencies or occasional use.

    I'm not interested in being available all the time, or talking while driving, eating, or whatever. People who need to contact me have my work and home numbers and can leave a message if I'm not there.

    While I'll agree cell phones can be useful, their (general) necessity is overrated.

    Now stop TXTing on my lawn!

  • Aha! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Zouden ( 232738 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @04:36AM (#19127227)
    Landline Holders Increasingly Older
    So that explains the grey hair I found this morning! It's my damn landline.
  • by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @06:39AM (#19127793)
    I hate the collapse of manners that has accompanied their arrival - people chatting on the phone whilst being served in a shop, taking calls in restaurants, talking about nothing on my commute ("I'm on the train") and so on. If people were more considerate in their use, I'd be more keen on getting involved.
    I also value my private time and don't feel a need to be contactable 24/7.
    Finally, being slightly risk averse, I don't like having a small microwave transmitter next to my brain for prolonged periods of time.
  • Security Systems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InShadows ( 103008 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:52AM (#19128171)
    On Mother's Day, my mom was asking about how much I pay for my cell phone bill and how many telemarketing calls I receive on a daily basis. She seemed truly interested in ditching the landline. So I had to remind her that without a landline the security system installed in their house will not function properly. Needless to say that ended that conversation. Security systems, such as ADT, require a house to have a landline. So until they change their practices and allow for VOIP or some other telecommunication avenue, the landlines will not be going away.
  • What about the sun? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MollyB ( 162595 ) * on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:05AM (#19128263) Journal
    I calculate that around 2012, nearly all folks will be using POTS, if this excerpt from Wikipedia is correct:
    "The last solar maximum [] was in 2001, and on 10 March 2006 NASA researchers announced that the next cycle would be the strongest since the historic maximum in 1958 in which northern lights could be seen as far south as Mexico."

    Aren't we just one or two Coronal Mass Ejections from having all our satellites (and cell service among others) go kerflooey?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Aren't we just one or two Coronal Mass Ejections from having all our satellites (and cell service among others) go kerflooey?

      As long as we're worrying about things we have no control of, I'd like to point out that we're also one asteroid impact away from wholesale extinction.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hab136 ( 30884 )

      Aren't we just one or two Coronal Mass Ejections from having all our satellites (and cell service among others) go kerflooey?

      Satellites are screwed, but the atmosphere blocks most radiation before it can reach cell phone towers. Anything strong enough to screw them up would also probably fry us.
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:54AM (#19128671) Homepage

    All the cell phone plans suck. First of all, I don't want a phone from the service provider for various reasons (avoiding lock-in, ability to change when I want, getting one to my liking). I'll buy my own phone and then choose a provider. Second, I don't want term plans. I want to just sign up, get competitive per minute rates, and pay month-to-month. I don't even mind pre-paying. But the pre-pay services now are overly expensive (it's a plan intended to rape the lower economic classes).

    As soon as a cell phone service provider figures out they will be very competitive with a "plan" that provides the lowest, or near lowest, per minute rates, reliable coverage, and no term period for those who "bring your own phone" (BYOP), then I'd be ready to cut the cord. In fact, I may well just cut the cord and not get any cell service at all since everyone who does call I don't want to talk to or listen to anyway.

  • by Peale ( 9155 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @02:28PM (#19134109) Homepage Journal
    Besides younger people, lower-income people are also more likely to have cut the cord.

    I guess it depends on where you live. I live in Vermont, and my landline costs me ~$35 a month. A single-line cell would be $50 for a bottom-of-the-barrel plan, plus another $20 for a line for my wife.

    I'd definitely do it if I had the scratch, though. Not sure how that would effect my having DSL.
  • by JeffTL ( 667728 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @05:41PM (#19137467)
    Attached to my belt right now is a Motorola Razr; pending the iPhone, this is the finest wireless telephone made. Reliable, decent sound quality, durable for a cell phone.

    And yet I prefer to use my Western Electric 500 -- with a metal dial -- because it's more comfortable and sounds better. A flip-type phone and an mp3 file of a real telephone bell help somewhat but aren't the full deal.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant