Do You Still Need a Landline Telephone In The 21st Century?

Do you still need a landline? You will not die without one, but we are going to keep ours for a while. Western Electric 302

Back around the turn of the century, when cellphones started to become the universal objects they are now, I seemed to have the worst luck trying to use one. The phone would ring in elevators, in the car with the top down, in the subway, in noisy bars and anywhere else where having a conversation right then was out of the question. Not only that, but there were some people I would rather just get a message from to return later. Or not. Even now, dropped calls are tolerated for the overall convenience.

Now, of course, phones have keyboards and everyone sends text messages instead, but I still always say, “Can I call back on the landline?” if that’s at all possible. At work, where calls between offices are on landlines (or at least on one end) and the environment is quiet, it is just so easy to hear. The 100 year monopoly of the Bell Company may have needed to come to an end, but the technology and the infrastructure were rock solid. A dial tone was almost always there with crystal clear sound on the other end and you could hammer nails with the Western Electric phones.

Those days are gone, of course. AT&T has given way to Vonage, Comcast and other VOIP systems, but phone conversations still sound better over wires. Nobody pays a la carte for call waiting and all that other stuff. You can use a device like an Ooma, port your old familiar phone number you have had for your entire adult life and pay essentially nothing every month.

So here are my three reasons: sentimental attachment to my old phone number, no dropped calls and great, easy to listen to sound. If the price is right, it works for me.

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