Land Lines

I’m just curious: How many of you have eliminated your land line in favor of your cell phone?  The Mister has been trying to convince me for years to get rid of the home phone, but I’m not convinced.  Isn’t it dangerous or something?  Shouldn’t we have a line for 911?  Someone once told me there is some gadget (some gadget! I sound like I’m 90) that converts your cell to a land line or ports your land line number to your cell…I don’t know.  It’s all very confusing to me.  Help?

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    We haven’t had one for four years. If ever we have a sitter or something, we just leave one of our cells behind. The kids know how to use them somewhat. It just seems like everyone has cells anyways. I always think why have and pay for two different phones?

  2. says

    We technically don’t have a landline, we have Vonage. Cheaper than a traditional landline and has 911 capability. Also, can be forwarded to a cell phone which is kinda cool.

  3. says

    The latest info. I heard on it was that city/county 911 facilities don’t have the ability to trace a cell phone quickly like they can a land line, so if you have kids in the house, it’s safer to keep the land line. I could be wrong about this because it’s been over a year since I’ve heard anything about this issue. Hope some of your other readers have more up to date information.

    I don’t have kids, but kept my land line. I guess I’m old fashioned. :)

  4. says

    I just got this message on facebook from a friend:

    What kind of internet service do you have? If you have service independent of your phone line, ie cable, you can use a magic jack. We have one and it works perfect. Also, it only cost something like 100 bucks for 5 years of service, and it does everything your land line does. I’ve even used our fax machine with it.

  5. Rachel says

    We only have cell phones, in fact, in our married adult lives, that’s all we’ve ever had. We do have an old school phone, with a cord, which we can use to dial 911 in an emergency (earthquake country will do that to you). You can dial 911 on a land line even without phone service, just like you can dial 911 on any cell phone, even if it’s no longer active. For that purpose we also keep an old cell phone in our emergency kit and in the trunk of our car.

  6. says

    I work for a wireless carrier, and a huge amount of people these days only have cell phones. The ones that don’t usually keep them if they have a parent or teens/tweens that stay home and don’t have a cell phone.

    You can convert your landline to a wireless number (or the other way around), but it’s only called “porting” if you’re switching wireless carriers. The whole process usually takes a few hours, up to 3 days at the most, and costs little to nothing. The only downfall is that in some cases, you can’t transfer it back, or port it back to your old carrier. If you’re switching carriers, call the one you’re going to be starting service with, and they’ll port the number for you. Otherwise, if you’re just switching between landline and wireless, you’ll call your regular carrier :)

    Hope it helps!

  7. says

    I think it used to be that if you had a regular landline (not through a cable company) that even if you didn’t have “service” you could call 911 and it would still go through. We still have a landline, but NEVER use it, it’s just part of the package with our cable. In fact, I just forward it to my cell and there’s no “real” phone hooked up.

    ETA_ looks like I was right from others who commented at the same time :) I also ported my house number to my cell with AT&T pretty easily.

  8. Rachel says

    It’s called a QDT, a quick dial tone. Not everyone has it. They are more common in apartments and older homes.

  9. says

    We still have our landline. We have it tied to our DSL and I just feel better having a house phone. What we pay for that + our cells is still less than what most people pay.

  10. Mandapoooh says

    We have a land line – I’m out in the country with no cell service. However, my parents and my brother have both eliminated their land lines. They are all quite comfortable with not having a land line. My 7 yr old niece has an old cell that they keep charged up in case she needed help. I would eliminate mine if I could.

    As an alternative, my husband is on his way to Best Buy right now to get a new cordless phone that will pick up his mobile via bluetooth connection and he will recieve his mobile calls on the land line phone when it detects he is there. Pretty cool, I think.

  11. says

    No land line for…7 or 8 years now. No issues ever. Cell phones are GPS and emergency enabled these days, and our internet modem (which is DSL, not cable) is assigned a phone number for 911 purposes. We can’t make any calls out on it except for 911 calls, but they’re required to allow those. Or I can Skype 911 :)

  12. Grace says

    I have to side with the Mister on this one- I haven’t had a land line for years! My biggest “emergency” thing is to have a cell phone charger for the car (in case your power in your house goes out and can’t charge it that way). Good luck with your decision!

  13. says

    We haven’t had a land line for years except for a month or two when we thought about switching back (to save money). We never, ever used it though.

  14. says

    I go back and forth all the time. I hooked it back up when baby #1 was born, nearly 5 years ago, because I was afraid my 911 call would be for naught on my cell. But I live in Long Beach, CA, and we have a designated emergency # for cell phones. But we don’t even use our land line, and just get marketers calling us. But now I want to get rid of it again, simplify, ya know??

  15. says

    We have a landline, but only because we live in BFE and the only way to get any sort of internet is dial-up. That and we don’t get cell reception in our house because of the roof. But as soon as we move later this fall, it’ll be gone. It’s way too expensive for not being used. Cannot wait to get rid of it!

  16. Kathie says

    We have a big house with two stories and four land line extensions. If we transferred the number to a cell phone, where would that one cell phone live? That question is what has kept me from dumping the landline service. Sounds kinda ridiculous, now that I put it in writing.

  17. Ms. Amy says

    We haven’t had a land line for a year, and haven’t missed it at all. I would have gotten rid of it sooner, but I needed it for faxing @ work.

  18. says

    I haven’t had a land line since I moved into my house seven years ago. I don’t even have a phone jack in my house. I like to think if someone broke into my house and I was there I could just throw my cell phone at them and run. It’s probably not very effective, but that’s my plan so far. I wouldn’t suggest this plan if you have a family with small children. It doesn’t seem responsible if you have children.

  19. AmyK says

    We cancelled our land line years ago. When my son was too young to manage a cell (ie keep it charged and not lose it!), we had a designated emergency cell that lived on a charger in a central location in the house. I think that would work for you and your munchkins. Kids seem to be born tech-savvy these days!

  20. says

    I haven’t ever really thought about getting rid of my land line, we use long distance multiple times a day so I think a cell would probably get far too expensive for us. But, I think one less bill would be nice.

    Shouldn’t your cell phone have 911? I though that all companies had that, I know mine does

  21. Krysten says

    We recently switched over to Ooma, which by and large, we really like. Our connection is through our cable modem, the charges are minimal, and we have 911 tracking abilities unless the power is out. Since you pay the same fee for local/long distance it’s been great for keeping up with friends and family around the country without worrying about whether it’s evening minute time or not.

  22. Kristen says

    I just get the cheapest plan for my land line and keep it for safety. They dont trace cell phones as fast as land lines. I would want the EMTs here as fast as possible if we were in a situation where we needed them. There was a case in my town last year where a woman who was having an asthma attack and called from her cell phone, was unable to talk, and since they didnt know her exact location she ended up dying. I have always advocated for land lines.

  23. Samantha says

    My husband and I have not had a landline due to saving money. We don’t have children or much going on, so we just use our cells for now.

    Hopefully, my dream of freelancing and someday having activities and kids and such will come true and then I will definitely get a landline, even if it’s the Vonage or a triple package with my cable company. Just using a cell phone seems great when you don’t have much going on, but when you do, I’d say a landline is pretty handy.

    I hate just having my cellphone at times, especially when I have to call and be put on hold–urgh, the radiation!! (-:

    Of course, it’s also up to every individual family–if you actually use your landline often, then don’t get rid of it!

  24. Joan in Northern NJ says

    Keep the landline, especially if it is with the local phone company and you don’t need a modem to use the phone. Here is the reason why:

    Local phone companies using twisted pair (a technical term for copper wire) to connect to your house have back-up generators in their central switching locations, meaning if there is a power outage the phone will still work. If you have your phone service with any provider , including the phone company, and you are required to use a modem with the phone, you will not have service if there is a power outage. Modems have to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work. Same holds true for cell phones, they have to be recharged. If you have no electricity, you can’t charge the cell phone. I suppose in an emergency you could recharge the cell phone in your car if you have a car charger, but in any case I would heep the landline for peace of mind. I still have mine. FYI, I used to work in the telecom field.

  25. says

    my husband and I go back and forth on this all the time. Once we have kids, we will have a land line for safety purposes. Cell phone towers go down. Also, once they get old enough to talk to their friends on the phone? I’m not paying for the cell bill! It isn’t like a land line is ridiculously expensive.

  26. says

    I’ve only had a land line twice (not including when I lived at home as a kid): once in my college dorm room before I got my cell phone, and then again about a year ago in our current house. My husband’s cell service was terrible, so we got phone included in our cable/internet package. While advertised as $29.99 a month, it ended up being around $50 after taxes and fees. Once he switched to my cell carrier and plan (with excellent coverage), we dropped it since we hardly used it.

    We are considering Magic Jack though, just as some sort of backup to our cell phones.

  27. says

    We have cells phones and a land line. I don’t really know why, yes I do, nostalgia. I remember talking on the phone in our kitchen with a curly cord growing up. Our cell phones get awful reception here in the woods anyway.

    And our land line? In the kitchen with a curly cord.

  28. Jennifer says

    We have a land line as well. Like the previous response, it’s nostalgic. We live in my DH’s Grandparents house and it’s their original number. We also keep it as a safety if the power goes out during hurricanes and such. During one hurricane, cell service was down, but I was able to call my folks and let them know that we were okay on our land line. Handy, indeed.

  29. Vanessa says

    I live alone in an area of WA with spotty cell coverage and the odd power outage. I want to know that I can pick up the phone and get 911 without having to move to the deck and wave my phone around looking for more ‘bars’.

    Even in California, with great cell coverage, I kept my landline in case of emergencies, particularly earthquakes. What can I say? I inherited my mother’s need to worry.

  30. says

    For a long time my husband and I had only our cell phones. The coverage at our house is bad and it was getting annoying. Then, when I was pregnant a few years ago, I was having trouble making a call to my husband and it went from annoying to scary and I made him get a landline.

  31. Kathy says

    I keep my landline because I am afraid that in an emergency I wouldn’t be able to find my cell phone and I would be running like mad all over the house screaming and searching for my phone. In a true emergency where seconds can count, finding your phone is the last thing you want to deal with.

  32. says

    Gosh, reading about all these people who still have landlines makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside … I was certain I was the only one. :)

  33. Michelle says

    I have a landline. I simply cannot hear an entire conversation over the cell phone. Am I the only person in the world with this problem? It is very annoying to me when I can only hear every few syllables and the rest is garbled static when using cell phones. My sister and her husband moved to Colorado and only have cell phones. They went to Mexico and my parents flew to Colorado to take care of their 4 kids for a week. When there was a problem, my parents learned that they could not contact my sister directly, because my parents did not have international cell phones. They had to call me, and I had to call Mexico to tell my sister to call her house. It became pretty expensive.

  34. joolz says

    i too live in long beach, ca. i have naked dsl (verizon) and between us, my husband and i have 3 cell phones with 2 different service providers. i do not miss having a landline and i do not miss paying for phone service i never used, like pacbell required. seriously, i was paying $75/mo for phone service and 1.5mbps dsl in anaheim. i’m paying $34.99/mo for 3.0mbps dsl here.

    i could have fios here (if i could get it in my building anyway!) for $25/mo less than that flintstones connection i used to have!

  35. says

    I remember hearing a few years ago that some cells weren’t automatically set up to allow you to dial 9-1-1, it was a service you had to request. This post made me start wondering if that was still true, and check out my own service provider. We use Verizon and I found a great FAQs sheet talking about the Enhanced 9-1-1 service they provide. This allows you to dial 9-1-1 while out of your local cell area and get connected with authorities closest to where you are (like if I travel to another state and have an emergency, I can be connected with that state’s 9-1-1 service). The FAQs sheet also delves into the GPS capabilities available for emergency authorities to track your call. It seems that you need a newer cell for this to work and not all emergency centers have updated their systems to receive GPS tracking information. I have high hopes that this will be implemented everywhere for the sake of our safety (for those of us not carrying a land line, or using a cell in emergency situations).

  36. Livi says

    I recently got a land line when I moved to a new home. I had not had one for the past 6 or so years…but now that my kids are old enough to stay home alone here and there, I wanted a land line so they always know where a phone is to call for help (my older son has a cell phone, but it’s not always charged…or it’s hiding in the sofa cushions etc.).

    We don’t ever use it, but I like knowing it’s available for them.

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