I wonder how long it will be before I can get rid of my landline. It’s a source of constant irritation to me. It costs almost $60 per month for the cheapest flat rate program Verizon has. It includes unlimited long distance and local calling.telephone

This seemed like a good idea when we moved from New York to New Jersey. Since Bubelah’s family lives in New York and mine in Virginia, we made a fair number of long distance calls. However, with all of our families on Cingular, oops, AT&T, we get mobile-to-mobile minutes free.

So why don’t you get rid of the land line and just use the mobile phones?” you may ask. Good question. First and foremost, the sound quality on the Samsung phones we have is really poor. They are little flip phones and you have to bellow to be heard. If we had better phones we might not have such terrible sounding connections. Then again, that may be wishful thinking and it may just be the service.

Second, we have a family plan with limited minutes. I use my cell occasionally for business, and we have five people on our plan using 500 minutes per month. I imagine we don’t use our landline that much during the day, but it still might strain our minutes.

Third, I remain distrustful of internet phone services. I really have to see one someday, but no-one I know uses this yet. If I saw it and used it and it worked I might be able to get it myself, but I’m afraid it will sound like Skype, the equivalent of using a walkie-talkie for a conversation.

Finally, and in some ways the most important but easiest to overcome problem, I remain worried about 911 calls. Landline 911 calls go right to, well, 911. I have the police emergency number programmed in my cell phone, but I have never ‘tested’ it and I remain concerned that in an emergency a mobile won’t be enough. I remember very well from my childhood and from 9/11 times when everything went out, but the phones stayed on. Electricity out because of snow/lightning/blackouts? The phone still works. All mobile phones dead because of swamped communications during 9/11? Landline still worked, and I lived in lower Manhattan, the heart of the storm.

I guess in this instance I’m just not thinking clearly. We plan to upgrade phones soon, primarily to get features that we need with a toddler around. “What does having a toddler have to do with your type of phone?” Well, try carrying a toddler around while talking on your flip phone. Try talking on your flip phone around a toddler who loves phones and yells if you don’t give it to him. We really want Bluetooth phones, or at least speakerphones, so we can go hands free easily in the car or while pushing his stroller or even while chasing him around the house.

So hopefully a new phone will have a better connection and interface and we’ll be able to finally kill off the landline and save that ridiculous $60 per month. I really wonder what the future is for landlines, because I don’t see what they can do faced with this.