Landline Telephony.

This post has been inspired by this fascinating report in The Guardian. Having used these Phone Boxes any number of times during my visits to the UK, I can relate to the writer’s take.

I have a landline connection from BSNL. I have had the pleasure of using this number since December 1990 when we moved into our current home and it is a simple number to remember. I have two instruments, one fixed and another with a portable handset kept conveniently close to my recliner chair.

Unfortunately however, except for one friend who too has a landline, nobody other than the phone company ever calls this number.  Many of my friends who used to have landlines have surrendered their connections for various reasons.  I use it to call landline numbers of shops and establishments from where I need some service but, even these are simpler to reach through my mobile phone.

Cable TV, WiFi providers, water conduits and drainage chutes all fight for underground space and inevitably, the landline telephone cable gets cut repeatedly and it takes for ever to get repairs done to it and so, most of the time we are without a landline connection.

I have been nostalgic and am also more comfortable with the landline but, the sheer convenience of the mobile phones and the fact that most of the time the landline does not work, has made me also to reconsider my position. So, I tried to approach the BSNL to surrender my connection but find no way of doing it online and perhaps will have to go personally to their office to do so. I am however determined to get it disconnected one way or the other.

Are you still using a landline telephone? What is your experience?

10 thoughts on “Landline Telephony.”

  1. Yes, I have kept my landline for the simple reason should I need to call our emergency phone number the call will go directly to my city site. They can see where I’m calling from should I be unable to speak or if my speech is unintelligible so can immediately send help. With my so-called smart phone a call with that same number will go to an adjacent city. I will have to tell them what city I’m in, then they will link my call to my city. This all happens quickly as I used it once, but in some instances even a few seconds can make a difference for the person needing health care. The last I saw figures only 50% of our country’s phone systems have been converted to operate differently though many people have cancelled their land line service. Some people think in the event of disasters i.e. hurricane, tornado, earthquake towers for these smart phones would be more susceptible to become unworkable and the landline would be more reliable. A Texas blogger confirmed on my blog that was her experience during a major hurricane there last year.

    My land line has been very reliable so I can’t complain. I have had situations when I’ve had no power so my landline portable phone system, much like your own only I have two more portable phones including one I have by my bed. The portable phones and answering machine ceased to work, but the base phone did work enabling me to report the outage, determine a major problem elsewhere, and learn repair status. That really mattered to me because I had allowed my smart phone battery to run down, planning to charge it that evening and even computer batteries needing to be charged, too. I didn’t have backup power sources which I’ve since resolved plus even have one solar charger now.

    Your situation may be quite different from mine, especially if your landline phone system is so unreliable that it isn’t even working much of the time. I might think of cancelling it, too, and save that expense also.

  2. I too have a landline – because a good many of my friends of my vintage – do not have a mobile phone and even if they do the calling costs unless you’ve got a “program” is exorbitant. I also can’t always locate my smart phone – and I’m not good with it anyway – my hands and fingers connect with buttons and menus and cut people off!
    I usually give my landline number as a point of contact for almost anything, because I can remember it – like you I’ve had it for a long time. But for some reason remembering my mobile number is often just on the tip of my tongue, then I have to find the place I keep that number written down…
    I don’t have a problem with the cost to run it as it’s bundled with my internet provider but it will not work if there is a power outage but then nothing much will work unless I’ve got my smartphone fully charged, making sure I don’t use it much etc…
    If and when I have to change the way things are done, I will rethink that – but for now it’s more convenient…I only turn on my answerphone if I’ve left a message some place and I know I’m not going to be home…
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    1. It is interesting to read your and other people still using landline phones and at the same time surprising too. My blog post has resulted in a query from my sister based on which I have written another blog post which I am sure will be of interest to you.

  3. My dear Ramana, here is your very own dinosaur writing. Yes, I do have a landline – and it’s the only way for anyone to call me (or I them) as I don’t have a Smartphone. It’s the way to go when you want people look at you aghast, shocked, in awe. Yes, I know, it’s so last century.

    It’s not that I am against Smartphones in principle – indeed I sometimes ask strangers to make a call, on their phones, on my behalf (say I am stranded in the middle of nowhere and need my son’s attention to airlift me). It’s just that I don’t need the blasted bells and whistles 24/7. Though banks, other institutions and indeed some retail outlets are beginning to beg to differ.

    I have this vision of burials of the future. You know how in old (and still existing) traditions some “tribes” will bury their dead with bits and bobs signifying the deceased’s life. Anything sentimental, naturally, and also that which might come in useful on their journey into eternity. Like, say, a Swiss Army penknife in case you need to carve your way out of hell. Now? Now people will be buried with their ice cold left hand clutching their Smartphone. Even death won’t part them. And let’s not forget to drop a charger into their coffin.


    1. Ursula, you HAVE to be different. Anyway, as long as it serves the purpose and you are happy with it, so be it. It is quite a thought about people being buried with their cellphones clutched in their hands!

  4. We had our landline removed a few years ago because the only calls we received on it were scam calls. I feel very nostalgic about the red telephone boxes, it’s so sad to see neglected ones, but many are being lovingly turned into mini libraries, terrariums, and in Stratford on Avon one has been turned into a min cafe.

  5. Yes, we still have a landline and we use it a lot to call tradespeople in particular. Jenny has a smart phone but I don’t so it’s handy to have a landline that is always “on” and will immediately alert us if someone is calling. I don’t need a smartphone as there is nobody I need to be in regular contact with. And I don’t need news updates every minute.

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