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Old 02-25-2014, 09:05 AM   #81
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Is a traditional "wired" telephone still more reliable in an emergency than a mobile (such as a disaster that knocks out the power etc.)?
Not for us. We have Verizon Fios, and if you lose power, you only have battery back up for the land line for two hours, assuming your battery is still good. Lost power for three days recently, recharging our cells with a solar charger.

Where the land line is better is more precise 911 locator, and we can get reverse 911 calls where we are alerted to possible flooding.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:58 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by InParadise View Post
Not for us. We have Verizon Fios, and if you lose power, you only have battery back up for the land line for two hours, assuming your battery is still good. Lost power for three days recently, recharging our cells with a solar charger.

Where the land line is better is more precise 911 locator, and we can get reverse 911 calls where we are alerted to possible flooding.
It depends what people mean when they say 'land-line'. The old traditional phone system we grew up with (copper wires carrying an analog voice signal, -48V tip-ring, and ~ 100V 20 CPS ring signal - and yes, it was CPS back then ) is often referred to as POS (Plain Old Telephone System).

A VOIP phone is different from POTS, but many call it a 'land-line' as it isn't an RF radio connection. Mine is a hybrid - VOIP but through a wireless point-to-point signal for my internet connection. So there is a break in the 'land connection'. But I just call it VOIP.

I can connect my router and 'modem' to an inverter I have (could keep it going indefinitely by charging from the car), but I don't know how long my ISP would stay up if my power went out anyhow. So far have not had the need.

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Old 02-25-2014, 10:05 AM   #83
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However, one feature I really like is a free iPhone app that allows me to use my Magic-Jack number over the iPhone if I have access to a wi-fi signal. This gives me free calling back to the US via my cell phone when I'm out of the country, at least when I'm in the hotel with access to wi-fi.
You can also do that with Google Voice and the TrueTalk app. I have used it to make 'free' calls home from overseas. Of course, the hotel/cafe/library must have a good internet connection otherwise the quality gets very choppy and hard to understand. Still, it beats the old days of "Talk quickly, he's calling from Germany!".
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:09 AM   #84
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Not for us. We have Verizon Fios, and if you lose power, you only have battery back up for the land line for two hours, assuming your battery is still good. Lost power for three days recently, recharging our cells with a solar charger.
I like the idea of a solar charger. Can you let us know the make and model? And what you think of it?
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:20 AM   #85
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In my research about nomorobo I discovered that it doesn't work with conventional landline service provided by Verizon. Just when I was getting a little worked up about putting an end to those annoying calls just to see that this broad slice of landline service was absent......

robocalls........the cockroaches of the telecom system.
NOMOROBO.com will work with any system that can do a 'simultaneous ring' whether the site says they are supported or not. Unfortunately, it looks like most ' conventional landline' (POTS) providers do not offer that feature, but most VOIP do.

I'm not sure, could calls be routed through Google Voice to do this?

Since NOMOROBO is being supported by the FCC (or FTC?), I think they should require ALL phone service providers to offer simul-ring. Maybe this is a big deal for POTS or cellular, but I would not think so. I will (waste my time) and write them with that suggestion.

I set up NOMOROBO last Saturday, and Monday it intercepted my first 'spammer'! Funny thing is, I checked the number on 800notes.com, and it looks like it was probably a political call which is exempt. But they must be using a spamming service, and the number is black-listed. Serves 'em right! If they really want to make 'legitimate' political calls, they should use a distinct caller ID with their affiliation, not a generic "CA CELL PHONE" or such.

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Old 02-25-2014, 12:21 PM   #86
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We still have a landline, but it currently runs over a Uverse digital link, basically full-house VOIP from Da Phone Company. The feature set is much more like cellular service (nationwide calling, caller-ID, and voicemail included, for example). To pretend that it is Just Like POTS, there's a battery backup for the system. During a recent power outage the phone still worked, as did Internet access, including the wireless router built into the box.

After the little battery runs out, or in the event of a wire break, it's as dead as any other service. I suspect it's also as under-provisioned as other digital services for the 'crunch' in demand in a regional disaster. Yes, I also live in earthquake country, and I remember how cell and landline systems were swamped in the last big quake.

This is when the batteries and field solar panel kit comes in handy...
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #87
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I tried to go without a landline 2 years ago, when we moved to the west coast, but reinstated it shortly after because of poor cell phone service in our new home (missed calls, dropped calls, weak signal, etc...).

Last time we were involved in a natural disaster with loss of power for an extended period of time, the only means of communication still functioning was our corded phone plugged into the landline. Cell phone service came back online about 3 days later, but still several days before power was restored.

Even though our cell phones were not very useful then as means of communication, they were still a good source of entertainment during those long, powerless days. So we had to keep them charged up. Nowadays, we have 3 ways to accomplish that: we can either charge them using the car battery, a small portable solar panel, or a hand-crank radio.

This is the hand crank radio that I have:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is the solar panel that I use:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The solar panels recharge my iPhone quickly on a bright sunny day, even when the panels are set behind a window. Theoretically, this panel can also charge an iPad, but you have to set them outside on a bright sunny day to get enough power for that.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:18 PM   #88
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Last time we were involved in a natural disaster with loss of power for an extended period of time, the only means of communication still functioning was our corded phone plugged into the landline. Cell phone service came back online about 3 days later, but still several days before power was restored.
I had the opposite occur. Remains of a hurricane swept up through the midwest and knocked power out to a huge number of customers across a large number of states. I was without power for 5 days, worst cases I heard of, was a guy at work that had no power for 30 days. Other than this, I have never been without power more than a few hours.

Anyway after about 1 day, the corded land line stopped working. My guess is the substation that we were routed through had no power and had exhausted its battery backup capabilities. My cell phone had a weak signal from a tower that I determined was north of us. They still had power in that area. From my house I could text and if I walked about 1 mile north I could make calls.

Since we RV camp frequently, we have a lot of 12v camping accessories. The deep cycle batteries from our RV are at our house hooked to a battery tender in the basement when we are not camping, so I had no trouble keeping the cell phone charged. If really desperate, I could pull the RV from storage, it has solar panels and an absorption refrigerator.

I've always wanted to buy one of the portable solar panels for charging small devices. Prices on these things have really come down in the past couple decades.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #89
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I dropped my landline this week.
Now just use a cell phone and magic jack plus - love it..
Another recurring monthly fee bites the dust
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:59 PM   #90
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I like the idea of a solar charger. Can you let us know the make and model? And what you think of it?
Amazon.com: Opteka BP-SC4000 Ultra Thin Solar Powered High Capacity (4000mAh) Backup Battery and Charger for Cell Phones, iPhone, iPod, and Most USB Powered Devices: Cell Phones & Accessories

We paid about $20 from New Egg. It's OK. It's not great to charge the phone cold, but you can accrue a charge by just letting it sit in the sun and your appliance will charge faster than way. Or we plug it in to the wall, (plug from another device hooked up to the charger with a similar female/male connector,) and use it as needed. When we were without power, but DH's work had it, he would bring the charger into work, charge it, and bring it back to our frozen home to recharge the IPod and phone.

Did this in weak winter daylight. Seems to do much better with sun, go figure.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:07 PM   #91
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Ditched the landline 2 years ago. Stopped the newspaper 5 years ago, at least. Don't need either.

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Old 02-25-2014, 08:00 PM   #92
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I have an old Tivo Series One that needs to dial home via a phone line.
Does anybody here with Ooma have this situation and made it work?

Ooma's site says to keep the land line for Tivo.

Thanks,
J
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:53 PM   #93
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Had a power outage today for a few hours. Land line had a dial tone and was functioning, but anything internet related would have been dead. Cell phone would still work of course at least until the battery died. Still not convinced getting rid of LL is the best option for me.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:36 AM   #94
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I have an old Tivo Series One that needs to dial home via a phone line.
Does anybody here with Ooma have this situation and made it work?

Ooma's site says to keep the land line for Tivo.

Thanks,
J
great question...didn't think of that. I have the newer Tivo service from the cable company..I think it uses the wifi to update, but I'll check on that.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:19 AM   #95
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Now you all have me thinking about mine...paying $60/month for nothing really. Our alarm system does use it, but they offer a cellular connection alternative for $8/month + $150 in hardware.
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try home phone via cell plan
Old 02-26-2014, 09:01 AM   #96
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try home phone via cell plan

I added "home" phone unit onto cell family plan with ATT (but I think other providers have this too). Cost me $10 per month plus taxes. Kept the same home phone number. I did buy a set of the home wireless phones so I still have 4 phones sitting around the house. The primary is plugged into the cellular "home" phone unit. It is easy, saved me a lot (was paying about $40 per month for land line), and it can move with me if I move. Don't know why I did not do that years ago.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #97
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I have the latest Tivo which have Wifi but wants ethernet connection if you want to network them (have a Tivo Mini in the bedroom) connected by MoCA.
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