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  #1  
Old 01 January 2014, 07:06 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Cell Phone No more land lines

Comment: I heard recently that ATT has requested permission from the
government to entirely phase out land lines. This sounds unlikely to me,
but also sounds like exactly the sort of rumor that would spread widely
and quickly, whether or not it is true.
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  #2  
Old 01 January 2014, 07:11 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Seems unlikely since the "land lines" are often the same physical wires that carry internet services and in some cases cable TV.

I can see a day when the traditional analog phone signal is no longer sent along the phone wires, instead the wires carry something like VOIP. A standard phone would no longer work but the same "land lines" are used for the digital transmission.
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  #3  
Old 01 January 2014, 07:28 PM
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AT&T And Verizon have been pushing Federal regulators to sunset the nations traditional copper based communications network - and the regulations that go with it,


It is true -- Copper is a lot more expensive to set up and maintain than wireless, and wireless is getting fast enough to replace wired connections --
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  #4  
Old 01 January 2014, 07:58 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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For a Forbes article that sure seems to be a pretty biased article.

They seem to slide between wireless and high speed wired as if they are the same thing. AT&T has a valid point; sending traditional analog voice over copper wires is inefficient. Converting to VOIP gets much better use of the existing infrastructure than does maintaining an expensive 100 year old technology indefinitely.
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  #5  
Old 02 January 2014, 04:58 AM
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BrianB BrianB is offline
 
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Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
They seem to slide between wireless and high speed wired as if they are the same thing.
Right. The Forbes article does a poor job of distinguishing the two. In fact, I see a lot of this so I can't fault the author of the OP for being confused. I looked around for a good explanation and I found this DSLReports.com forum thread from a forum member who was concerned about the possible removal of the copper infrastructure from his or her neighborhood. Here's how a Verizon forum member responded:
Quote:
It is called "network evolution". Yes Verizon CAN force you off of the copper and onto the Fiber. What they CANNOT do is force you from a regulated service to a deregulated service.
{ snip }
In summary, YES, everyone in a FiOS enabled area will eventually be forced onto the fiber, but you can keep your same deregulated services.
In addition, I can speak from personal experience. When Verizon FiOS became available in my neighborhood they gave me the following options:
  • Landline phone only.
  • Landline phone and Internet.
  • Landline phone and TV.
  • Landline phone, Internet, and TV.
I took the second option and when it was installed they cut the copper wiring to my house.

While landline phones are certainly in decline neither AT&T or Verizon has said anything about getting rid of them or getting out of that business.

Brian
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  #6  
Old 02 January 2014, 05:31 AM
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I didn't read the reports, but in Canada, Bell was switching over from copper wires to fiber-optic ones ages ago, at least 15 years now, and probably twenty.
We had an old copper wire leading to our house (this was before you took responsibility for the part on your property), and it was severed twice by cable people, and finally we got Bell people up to check the state of it and they were horrified and laid a new one the same day.
Landlines often still work even when the electricity is out for a period of time. It's why we still have one phone with a cord - because of course the cordless phones stop working when the electricity goes out.
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  #7  
Old 02 January 2014, 07:43 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living View Post
It is true -- Copper is a lot more expensive to set up and maintain than wireless, and wireless is getting fast enough to replace wired connections --
But not nearly as reliable.

Also, remember that the frequency spectrum is a very limited resource. Suitable frequencies for wireless data transmission is even more limited. It's fast now when not so many use it, but as more people use it, they will have to share the capacity. You can't have "separate wires" when you run wireless.
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  #8  
Old 02 January 2014, 09:59 AM
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I have a co-worker who is planning for the building of his new home. He is opting not to have a land line installed on his property, thinking that they will never use it because they all rely on cell phones. I'm assuming that if they did have one installed it would be fiber optic. If they pass it up, will they have to rely on satellite only for their TV and internet? Or will they be laying this line when they bring in the electrical service? This is their "live in until we die house", so they're assuming the technology will change to all wireless by the time they have to sell the place.

Last edited by Horse Chestnut; 02 January 2014 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Added another sentence and subtracted another.
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  #9  
Old 02 January 2014, 11:40 AM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
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The only reason that I have a land line is because it was part of the package with my cable TV and internet. It's not copper wire either. The phone is plugged into my cable modem. If I did have an emergency where the power went out I'd have to rely on my cell phone. In the 14 years I've had various cell phones I can only recall two places where I could not get any signal.

Once was while camping in the north GA mountains, so it's not really shocking that there was no tower near by. The other was a friend's house that I used to joke was a black hole since I could never get a signal there. She had a different provider and never had a problem using her cell phone.
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  #10  
Old 02 January 2014, 03:23 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz1980 View Post
The only reason that I have a land line is because it was part of the package with my cable TV and internet. It's not copper wire either. The phone is plugged into my cable modem.
Personally, I wouldn't quite consider a cable telephone as "land line" as it's using VoIP technology, from the house to the outside world. I use a Magic Jack at home, and while it does use a regular "plugged into the wall" telephone, it really is VoIP technology. Some people say that "if the power is out and that knocks out your telephone, it's not a land line".

For what it's worth, I keep my cable modem & Magic Jack on a UPS, so I have a fair amount of time where my phone & internet still work if the power goes out.

OY
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  #11  
Old 02 January 2014, 05:00 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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So the article not only confuses wired with wireless but also doesn't consider fiber optic to be "land line".

Why on earth would anyone insist that the "land line" infrastructure continue to be copper and not the much faster (and cheaper) fiber optic?
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  #12  
Old 02 January 2014, 05:02 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Some people say that "if the power is out and that knocks out your telephone, it's not a land line".
That used to be true but in practice it no longer is. Since nearly every modern phone requires 120VAC when the power goes off you loose your phone regardless of if it is on a traditional copper "land line" or not.

Since people (like me) keep on old style phone just for that reason. A lot of people don't.
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  #13  
Old 02 January 2014, 05:08 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
That used to be true but in practice it no longer is. Since nearly every modern phone requires 120VAC when the power goes off you loose your phone regardless of if it is on a traditional copper "land line" or not.
They must be using newfangled phones - none at my house are plugged into 120VAC (except my cordless)

In any case, I don't see VoIP as being a "traditional land line". The voice to numeric conversion is done at your house, and not by the phone company (if any).

OY
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  #14  
Old 02 January 2014, 05:32 PM
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The modern phones that need to be plugged in are the ones that show Caller ID, etc. on a screen. For a while you could even connect to an Electronic Phone Book and get simple information here but that died out.
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  #15  
Old 02 January 2014, 07:31 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
In any case, I don't see VoIP as being a "traditional land line". The voice to numeric conversion is done at your house, and not by the phone company (if any).
True, it isn't a "traditional land line" but it is still a "land line" as opposed to a broadcast (wireless) system.


I wonder, are land lines (of copper or glass) more or less likely to get saturated in an emergence? IIRC the cell system in New York on 9/11 shut down due to too much traffic. Did the land lines keep working or were they overwhelmed as well?
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  #16  
Old 02 January 2014, 08:13 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Both land lines (whether copper or fiber) and cell phones are designed for a maximum number of users at any single time. IIRC, it is only 10% of the total number of lines/numbers on the system. Old fashioned copper lines from the days where ever copper line ran from the house back to the central switching station also overload. Look at old movies where the connections were made by operators by physically plugging the two lines together. One they did not have that many jumper cables and two, there were not enough operators to answer every call at once.

My fiber modem at home has one hour of battery backup built in. The typical cell phone tower had 8 hours of fuel for the on-site generator. More if the generator is natural gas powered instead of diesel.

ETA: To answer Jimmy101-again directly, the land lines were also overwhelmed in New York on 9/11. And as a side note, the cell phone towers were shut down in Boston when the bombs were exploded during the marathon. The reason that the capability to do that has been built into the cell phone system now is that cell phones can be used as detonating devices for bombs.
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  #17  
Old 02 January 2014, 08:33 PM
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Im not an expert, and I'm not even in my armchair, but IMO, fiber optic lines would be designed with the idea that end users will be using the line most of the time. In a typical household, the phone will be in use probably 10% of the day (unless you have a house full of teenagers). In any case, for a copper based system that is dedicated to phone service the usage will probably peak at 10%.

However, a fiber optic system that serves TV, internet and phone, you would probably every customer to use certain amount of bandwidth all the time. Heck, my DVR is running all the time, or atleast recording 4 hours of TV everyday. You would expect a typical household to be watching TV, browsing the internet or making calls throughout the evening. What else is there to do? Talk among each other? Pshaw! Verizon probably has to design the system so that it's saturated from 6pm - 10pm everyday.
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  #18  
Old 02 January 2014, 08:36 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Thinking about it MadJay, I am sure you are correct about the functions such as Internet access and TV. These will need a much higher level of participation that simple voice communications. But these are still limited. I will research the system capacities this evening just for the fun of it.
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  #19  
Old 02 January 2014, 11:40 PM
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Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
I didn't read the reports, but in Canada, Bell was switching over from copper wires to fiber-optic ones ages ago, at least 15 years now, and probably twenty.
I remember reading years ago (late '70s, early '80s) about AT&T installing fiber optic cables in downtown Chicago. I found this really cool fiber optic timeline that mentions that and shows how far back the basis of the technology goes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Why on earth would anyone insist that the "land line" infrastructure continue to be copper and not the much faster (and cheaper) fiber optic?
Too much misinformation out there. While researching my post above I came across several articles where customers complained about how some AT&T and Verizon salespeople were using the switch to fiber optic to up-sell other products. In all of these articles the customers did not understand how these changes would actually affect them.

Brian
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