Does anyone still have a home phone they actually use anymore? A recent report from the National Health Interview Survey reveals that about one-third of American households have ditched their landlines and gone completely mobile. Additionally, one in every six homes received all their calls on cell phones despite having a landline in their house.
Households have numerous reasons to reconsider moving to a completely mobile communication system, but home phones still serve several purposes and provide important benefits.
Emergencies The number one reason to keep a landline is for emergency purposes. When the power goes out, when your cell phone dies, when the nearest cell tower fails or when small children need to call for emergency services, a mobile phone won't always work—but a home phone will.
Children can also easily operate landlines, particularly old-fashioned corded phones and should know how to dial 9-1-1 and when to do so.
Working From HomeToday's workforce enjoys more freedom than before and many people choose to work from home full or part-time. The modern work world, as cloud-based as it has become, still requires interaction over the phone.
A home phone is more reliable for people working from home than cell phones, which can drop calls, may not work as well for conference calls, and do not have the same sound quality as a cell phone.
Clearer Conversations "Can you hear me now?" isn't just an old cell phone slogan. Many cell phone users ask this question as they roam around the house, looking for the room with the best reception.
Landlines simply sound better. And as you age or the people you communicate regularly age, sound quality and clarity matters more and more.
Rural Access Part of living in rural America means making some trade offs. You get privacy, space and small town culture, but you may lose cell service. Home phones become the key form of communication in rural communities and points of pride for these neighborhoods.
Some rural counties could lose phone service so politicians and other activists are fighting to keep those lines of service open for the many residents who rely solely on home phones in these areas.
Non-Phone PurposesIt's not just cell phones that can multitask. Home phones can pull double duty as well.
InternetConverting a landline to a broadband signal is one of the many ways people get Internet in their homes. Having a landline allows people options for choosing the best internet provider in their neighborhoods at the best price.
TVTelevision systems often use landlines to communicate back to the provider, sending and receiving information about programs, verifying receivers, or managing pay per view programs.
Security SystemsHome security systems use phone lines to communicate back to the provider on a regular basis to make sure the system is working. If the system goes off, it also uses the landline to alert the security company. And while new systems can work with mobile devices, a landline is more reliable for home security purposes.
PrivacyMobile technology has allowed us to stay in constant contact with friends, coworkers and family members who can now reach us at any time of any day anywhere. While many welcome this 24/7 access to their lives, others look for ways to escape it.
A home phone allows for a certain amount of privacy. You can choose what phone numbers you share with people, reserving your cell phone for work and your home phone for friends and family. This allows you to unplug from the stream of constant communication.
Landlines, as antiquated as some might view them, still serve a relevant purpose amid today's myriad communication devices. How do you use your home phone?