Landline: A Case for an Emergency

Red Rotary i phone

I’ve noticed a new trend where people are substituting cellphones for their house phones, as if the two were interchangeable, they’re not.

Whether or not you have children, or if you have an old lady or old man, even if that old lady or old man is you; you need to have a landline in your home.  Why?  Because of the emergency dial tone that’s being supplied at the wall jack.

It’s been said that “home is where the heart is”, it’s also the place where one third of all serious injuries in America happen.  Often these are life threatening events, such as poisoning and falls that require immediate medical attention.

So, while you may decide that you don’t need two phone bills, that shouldn’t mean you yank the telephone plug from the wall.  Preventative measures, like safety should never be determined by economics, or by counting the coins that are left in your purse after you buy those fancy shoes.

Cutting corners and stretching dollars, there’s a Suze Orman app for that and if there’s not, there should be.  Besides, whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re already making payments on that emergency dial tone that’s being supplied to your home.

Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) an independent government agency that regulates interstate and international communications, your home and every home in America has emergency dial tone.

The FFC requires all telecommunication service providers, including wireline, wireless, paging, and VoIp (Voice over Internet Protocals) to pay Universal Service Charges (USF) and these fees are based on their domestic and international end-user revenues.  That’s you and me.  (Look at your bill, more than likely you’ll see the charges).

We all benefit from the USF, as it pays for emergency services, like Fire & Rescue 9-1-1 and e9-1-1.  It also helps defray the expense of local number portability (LPT), which allows you to take your number with you when you move or change telephone carriers/service.

The USF also helps pay for translation and relay service (TRS)  for  the hearing and speech impaired.  I suppose it’s a little bit of social democracy at work, but Shhhhhh, no one wants to hear that.

Which brings me back to the wisdom of that conventional telephone, the one with the curly cord, or the stationary base, the one with the little clear plug that you yanked from the wall jack, go on plug that  back in.  Now that you understand the emergency dial tone that you or someone you love may need.

Besides, you’re paying for it, so keep a landline phone plugged in.  It just makes good sense.  Because each time you get home, your cellphone is consistently on its last bar and needs to be charged.  Or it’s busy downloading an app, or fixing a bug or doing an update.

Life and its emergencies don’t wait for a convenient time to happen, they just happen.  Luckily, there’s dial tone at that wall jack, on point and ready.

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Filed under gadget, technology, Telecommunications, Telephone

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