Saturday, July 16, 2005

Time to Ditch the Land Line?

Yesterday I discovered yet another drawback to having VoIP (Voiceover Internet Protocol) phone service as opposed to a traditional land line: you can't split the signal. I normally use a cordless phone, but I keep an old Western Electric-style slimline model on hand for whenever I record phone interviews. When I tried to plug in that phone, my cordless stopped working. Naturally, Time Warner tells you none of this when they sell you digital phone service.

Wednesday's Dallas Morning News had a story about how cell phones now outnumber land lines in Texas (registration required). Lots of people are reaching a point where it just doesn't make sense to maintain a land line. I have to keep one because wireless reception and fidelity are still pretty terrible by comparison. That's no good for phone interviews. VoIP's reception isn't as sharp as a traditional land line, either, but it's still way better than what I'd get from wireless.

Then again, my cell is an cheap-ass Virgin Mobile Kyocera base model I bought three years ago for $59. You'll think I'm really glad to see you if I hug you while it's in my front pocket.

6 comments:

Wes said...

Personally, I think VoIP is still too new and should be avoided. Im also very suspicious of the fact that its being rammed down our throats when it doesnt offer any technological advantage. Phones are crappy enough as it is, dont make them worse!

Also, does your VoIP phone work when the power goes out?

Greg said...

That is correct. No power = no modem = no phone.

VoIP eliminates quite a few of the remaining advantages of having a landline, but I've yet to find a technological advantage to it other than the cost savings realized by bundling with cable and broadband.

Chox said...

I was thinking about getting VoIP but I'm not sure if it supports rotary phones. I have a collection of Western Electric 500 rotaries but I'm afraid I won't be able to use them.

So with my crappy i730 I shall stay.

Unfortunately.

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