Sunday, August 20, 2023

Cutting the Cord - Why Landline Alternatives Are the Way to Go

"Cutting the cord" refers to quitting your cable or satellite TV provider. If you can locate what you want to watch on streaming services like Netflix, YouTube TV, and Philo, doing this could save you money.

Cable providers are beginning to take cord-cutting seriously and are providing more affordable smaller bundles. But is the change worthwhile?


A landline may make little sense if you rely on your cell phone for most calls. Many households are ditching landlines altogether to cut their bills.

Traditional landline home phones use a complex spiderweb of copper wires owned by telecom companies to connect buildings. They're expensive to maintain and can be subject to outages, price hikes, and significant taxes.

Landline alternatives such as Ooma Telo are available. These VoIP landline providers offer one-time hardware costs and a low monthly fee for local, national, and sometimes international calling. They also have features like caller ID, voicemail, and faxing capability. In addition, these devices are portable and can be taken with you when traveling. They can even work during power outages (though a cellular provider would be preferable in this scenario). You could even port your old landline number to these alternatives.


With a suitable home phone alternative, ditching your landline can be easy. For example, many VoIP services use your broadband connection and provide a complete set of standard phone line features at a fraction of the cost. Some even include a fundamental home phone base with solid coverage that eliminates the need for expensive copper wire connections.

Other options let you park your landline number and play a message to callers that say to dial your new mobile number instead. Some can also connect you to a service that routes 911 calls to your emergency service provider using a digital signaling system so that first responders know exactly where the call is coming from.

Another way to cut the cord is to ditch your cable bundle and replace it with live-streaming options. If you can't live without the newest episodes of your favorite show or want access to more than just primary channels, you can always supplement this with an antenna.


Whether you want to cut your cable TV subscription or seek cheaper landline phone services, plenty of options are available. Many of these alternatives use VoIP to connect your business so that you can avoid expensive ATAs and other hardware. Depending on the size of your business, you can choose from open-source solutions or paid providers.

Residential VoIP uses your home Wi-Fi connection to make and receive calls, the same connections that power everything from computers and televisions to connected doorbells and virtual assistants. It means you can get rid of your traditional landline and its monthly bill without missing out on the reliable service that it provides.

In addition, your landline can provide a crucial line of communication in the event of an emergency. While 911 support for cell phones and online calls has improved, emergency personnel still need to know your exact location to respond quickly.


Some people who cut their home phone cords do so to streamline paperwork and bill-paying. Others may use a landline alternative to take advantage of features not available on cell phones, including caller ID, call forwarding, and three-way calling. And for some, a reliable landline can provide a sense of security. Unlike cellphones, which can be hampered by spotty cellular reception, harsh weather, or even chewed-through charging cords, landlines are always on and grid-independent, which is a big deal in remote areas and for people with disabilities who rely on a fixed phone line for fall detection services.

Also, traditional landlines are keyed to a specific building and address, which means 911 emergency services can accurately pinpoint their location. This feature is unavailable on digital alternatives, such as VoIP-based home phones and cell phone apps, which route calls to the nation's 911 call centers differently.

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