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Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 06:12 PM   #1
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Getting rid of the land line and 911

I'm seriously contemplating not using a land line when we move into our new house. We pay for a cell phone and a Vonage phone, which I think more than adequately meets our phone requirements...except 911. For those folks who've ditched their land line: What are you doing about 911 access in case of an emergency? Cell phone 911 calls roll to the California Highway Patrol and Vonage...well, I don't trust Vonage enough to handle my 911 emergencies. Any thoughts?
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

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Originally Posted by cube_rat
. . . Any thoughts?
Avoid emergencies?
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 06:33 PM   #3
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Avoid emergencies?
beside the obvious
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 07:11 PM   #4
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

When did you last use 911?

I'd get rid of the land line very quickly if my wife would let me. For <$20/month it's not worth pushing the issue. We've never used 911 in the 23 years we've lived here. Some day I'll convince her.

We could easily program emergency numbers into our cell phones. They even have GPS though I don't think local emergency services can use it.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

I have my landline phone service over our cable modem. I told ComCast what the address is that is related to that and they have it in their database. So, if I were to call 911, it would be routed to the correct agency to respond to my address. ComCast placed a sticker on the modem saying that I need to notify them if I move so that they can update the address database, otherwise they would send the response to my current address. Maybe Vonage has a similar setup?

In many areas Enhanced 911 is able to pinpoint your location to the closest cell tower. The closest response agency is then notified. In a few areas with Enhanced 911 Phase 2, the cell signal is triangulated and a lat/long position is displayed on the dispatchers console, so responders can be routed direct to where you are. Great if you're not at home and need help.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 07:47 PM   #6
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

We got rid of our land line a couple of years ago and each have a cell phone. I figure the risk isn't that big. If I call 911 I will say where we are and what is the emergency. Or Greg will. Odds are one of us can talk.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwirk
When did you last use 911?
I'd get rid of the land line very quickly if my wife would let me. For <$20/month it's not worth pushing the issue. We've never used 911 in the 23 years we've lived here. Some day I'll convince her.
You only want to use it once!

Is it a utility expense or a cost of insurance?
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 10:09 PM   #8
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

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Originally Posted by Nords
You only want to use it once!

Is it a utility expense or a cost of insurance?
Agreed. That response from kwirk absolutely stunned me. 911 is the one thing you want to have available 101% of the time.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-13-2006, 11:46 PM   #9
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Interesting question...

I now have three of my siblings that have gone cell only.. I don't think any have thought about the 911 calls... I guess I will ask what they plan on doing..
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 03:38 AM   #10
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Is anyone worried about power outages or not?

I like the fact that I can still make calls if the lights go out.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 09:21 AM   #11
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
Is anyone worried about power outages or not?

I like the fact that I can still make calls if the lights go out.
The phone has its own powere system.. they usually work when your power is out.. of course.. you must have one of the old phones that has a line attached..
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Is anyone worried about power outages or not?

I like the fact that I can still make calls if the lights go out.
I wonder about that too. Our elec coop is rolling out broadband service over the power lines, & I'm considering telling Sprint to go piss up a rope when the svc gets out to us. I'm hoping that the broadband can still function (assuming the lines are intact) even when the juice goes out, then we'll be able to operate off the laptop batteries or UPS for a while if we have to.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 10:39 AM   #13
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Is anyone worried about power outages or not?

I like the fact that I can still make calls if the lights go out.
I have, on rare occasions, lost the land line with power outages (power lost to the local switching station?). I've also had outages of the land line when there was no power loss. Strangely, I don't recall losing cell phone coverage with a power outage though I'm sure this is possible. The land line is vulnerable to being cut from outside the house.

I think cell phones may be more reliable than the land line here. If the batteries die I can charge/run them from a car battery or even the lawn mower battery.

Cell phones can also go with you. It's hard to get to the land line from the otherside of the neighborhood. Also hard to get to the landline if you've 'fallen and can't get up.'

Both of my children live independently. Neither is willing to part with the money for a land line. Their friends all seem to do the same. There may be a generational issue here.

What are the situations where a land line might be better? You can't talk to give a location. You are interrupted while making the call. Your home has unreliable or no cell coverage (best reason, imho). I imagine that there are many things that I might want once in a lifetime if I were really unlucky but that I'm not willing to pay for. We each have different levels of risk tolerance.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 10:39 AM   #14
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

In the process of moving and debating this very issue. Frankly I don't see a need for a land line, especially if your phone can be located via GPS/ triangulation. Also why not just program in a three digit speed code (911) on your cell phone to the local emergency services in your area ?
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 10:46 AM   #15
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

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Originally Posted by AltaRed
Agreed. That response from kwirk absolutely stunned me. 911 is the one thing you want to have available 101% of the time.
My opinions tend to vary from the norm, whence the moniker.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 01:16 PM   #16
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Do you all have great cell phone reception? I HATE talking on cellphones because I find the distortion too much.. it's difficult to have a pleasant conversation (I have no problem with landlines). I would never go cell only for that reason alone, though I hear great things about Skype connections in terms of clarity.

In a power outage, I was just imagining the likelihood of a cell phone that didn't have much juice left. While I appreciate the capability of anyone able to recharge their cell phone via the lawnmower.. for me that is getting into MacGyver territory!
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 01:23 PM   #17
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I like the fact that I can still make calls if the lights go out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
The phone has its own powere system.. they usually work when your power is out.. of course.. you must have one of the old phones that has a line attached..
I was working at COMSUBPAC in 1993 when the lights went out and the diesel generator didn't come online. Bad day for the engineering guys. Bad day for all of us operations weenies, too, because STU-IIIs don't work when there's no 120V AC. That afternoon a tight-jawed Chief of Staff distributed old corded dialed Bell Telephones to all the "key players". (The communications guys hadn't thrown them away yet.) Ironically they became a status symbol amid all the hypermodern technology.

But have any of you tried to find even a pushbutton corded phone these days, let alone a dialer? I have a 20-year-old model and a 1970s Snoopy phone that I'm afraid to get rid of for fear that they can't be replaced.

I thoroughly enjoyed a comic strip where the teenager was always in trouble for losing the cordless phone, so he tied it to the base and decided to patent his "phone cord" invention.
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 01:38 PM   #18
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I was working at COMSUBPAC in 1993 when the lights went out and the diesel generator didn't come online. Bad day for the engineering guys. Bad day for all of us operations weenies, too, because STU-IIIs don't work when there's no 120V AC. That afternoon a tight-jawed Chief of Staff distributed old corded dialed Bell Telephones to all the "key players". (The communications guys hadn't thrown them away yet.) Ironically they became a status symbol amid all the hypermodern technology.

Hmm... I guess they did not do what they are supposed to do... I work with mega corp and we have generators all over the country.. we have people run them every month for a certain amount of time... but, sometimes it is not the generator.. during one hurricane, there was some fuse or other 'cheap' part that failed... it was supposed to tell the generator to run but didn't... nobody knew to just go flip the switch the switch for a long time... now they are being asked if they need 'backup' for that part..
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911
Old 10-14-2006, 06:09 PM   #19
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Re: Getting rid of the land line and 911

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Originally Posted by Nords
...because STU-IIIs don't work when there's no 120V AC.
I never knew that - all the magic cables just dissapeared behind my desk and went off into wherever. There were days I would have gladly pulled the plug and claimed "sorry, my STU isn't working". When they first delivered my secret squirrel telephone I remember thinking "kewl, I am somebody now." And then I learned that nobody ever wants to talk about good stuff while encrypted. It was always bad news.

Back OT - I'm keeping my landline. As pointed out already, the power is more reliable and I figure if I ever need to call 911 it'll be because I really need some help.
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