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#285097 - 07/24/17 07:12 AM Landlines still useful?
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1251
I'm wondering whether landlines are still useful in an emergency situation. Some initial thoughts -- in an emergency situation, the cell towers may be down, your cell phone may not have enough power left, etc. The landline is always powered. On the other hand, if everyone is on cell, whom will you call?

What do you think?

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#285098 - 07/24/17 07:58 AM Re: Landlines still useful? [Re: Bingley]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2749
Loc: La-USA
A landline will work when cell phones won't. Who do I call? If needed, Police, Fire Dpt, Emergency Medical Assistance, relatives out of the problem area, etc.
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#285104 - 07/24/17 02:53 PM Re: Landlines still useful? [Re: wildman800]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 797
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
At least in my area, copper based land-lines are slowly going away as the phone company is hooking people up to fiber instead. Basically they told me that where they have both fiber and copper lines in a neighborhood (like my neighborhood), they have stopped maintaining the copper system, and when a customer in that area has a problem, they fix the problem by hooking them up to the fiber system.

However, the fiber system is run off of electrical power in the customer's home. The copper system is run off a separate power system owned and operated by the phone company. As part of the fiber installation, they do provide a small backup battery that will power the fiber system for a few hours. They don't maintain that battery. After installation, it is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain and replace that battery.
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"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#285108 - 07/24/17 04:50 PM Re: Landlines still useful? [Re: Bingley]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2696
Where I live all the major cellular carriers are more reliable than the landline carrier. That's at least partially a function of good backup power at every cell tower.

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#285142 - 07/25/17 09:24 PM Re: Landlines still useful? [Re: Bingley]
Eugene Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2810
Same here. For the last decade land lines quit working when the sky turns grey. Cell phones work way more often. Land lines are low profit or even a loss for rural areas so there is no motivation to keep them working.

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#285156 - 07/27/17 03:53 AM Re: Landlines still useful? [Re: Bingley]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2562
Loc: Alberta, Canada
In a city, cellular is as good or better. Outside of mass population centres, it's massively variable. As suggested by other posters, just because it's supposedly copper doesn't mean it's the independently powered service from the past.

Around here, it's still kinda-copper-ish -- but maybe not. In the last decade, there are many places where straight copper has been replaced by a multiplexing system to accommodate many more phone lines, which over a decade has degraded service enormously. I saw dial-up internet for email go from usable to dead, which is how I found out. Still, copper-ish for emergenciec is generally more reliable, for now.

In the little hilly pocket in which I currently reside, within view of a city of a million people, neither police nor ambulance have reliable cell service; and I am now cell-only. It gives me pause.

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#285157 - 07/27/17 12:30 PM Re: Landlines still useful? [Re: Bingley]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1402
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
a touch tone handset (stand alone and not part of a cordless system) is still a part of my hurricane preps... and the ability to "borrow" service from a neighbor through their networking box

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