***Editor's Note: John's commentary on cell phones and landlines drew some interesting reaction. We are posting a transcript of John's comments followed by the viewer feedback...
My commentary last week about the future of landline phone service got several phone responses. Noreen Clark replies they are located in a dead zone and are unable to get cell phone coverage at home. If landlines became obsolete she would be without phone service. Joack Frost of Niles, Michigan stated that in resopnse to emergencies it is best to use a landline for 911 calls.
Noreen, my own coverage is spotty as well, but that continues to improve. I was not advocating abandoning landlines, but since the portion of households relying solely on mobile phones is 25% and growing, I think there will be problems with how we pay to maintain an expensive landline system as folks opt out. Especially when they have to bury miles of wire to get to a few customers. Developing nations are skipping landlines entirely, saving billions in infrastructure costs.
Jack, you make a great point. Many 911 systems rely on the landline phone information to locate callers, which can be critical for folks who are confused or unable to speak. But recent FCC rulings require cell phones to transmit location information to the 911 call center as well. Not all the nation has this capability yet, however.
I have to believe due to the portability of mobile phones, more 911 calls are coming from them. And remember, if the power is out, your cordless landline phone doesn't work anyway.
*Viewer Comment #2:
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