Do I Still Need a Landline?

phone booth

We still have a landline at my house. Why? My hubby and I have asked ourselves that question many times, especially when the bill comes every month and the majority of calls we get are robocalls. Everyone in my household has a cell phone, so why not cut the wire? Here are a few of the main reasons people like me hang on to their landlines — and why some of those reasons may not actually matter.

Communication during emergencies - If a power outage hits your area, your cell phones will eventually run out of juice. Your landline, on the other hand, will keep you connected to the outside world even when the lights go out.

Why this may not matter: Many newer landlines actually won’t work in a power outage. Older landlines, which are connected via copper wires, will almost always work in a natural disaster since they don’t depend on electricity. However, if your phone line is newer, it’s not so simple. Most telecommunication companies don’t use copper wires any longer, since copper isn’t great at transmitting signals for cable TV and internet. Since most telecom companies offer bundled services, most use a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) line instead of copper wires. These lines transmit phone service over the same cables and wires used for the home’s internet connection. This means that, when the power goes out, so does the phone line.

Let 911 find you - Landlines help emergency responders find you quickly. Calls from cellphones are harder to trace and, when every minute counts, you don’t want 911 wasting precious time trying to determine where you are.

Call quality - Unlike cell phones, landlines rarely make your voice sound tinny, they won’t suddenly drop your calls or fill your phone line with static.This may not matter if you have excellent reception at home and you can have clear, perfect conversations, even with a cellphone.

Money saved - Holding onto your landline can save you money each month. Lots of telecommunication companies offer special deals on service bundles. If you cut the landline, but still want to keep the other services, you might not be eligible for that deal and you can end up paying more each month for fewer services. If you don’t bundle your telecom services, this won’t apply to you.

Cheaper international options - Landlines often offer better international plans that can make overseas calls affordable. If your family and friends live in the U.S. and you rarely make calls overseas, this factor might not make a difference to you.

Share a family phone - It can be expensive to get each family member their own cellphone. If each child already has their own cellphone, or you take advantage of a cheap family plan, this may not concern you.

So, can you hang up on your landline or not? The jury is still out on this one at the Kurtz household. But, if you carefully consider your own needs and particular circumstances, you can make the decision that’s right for you.






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