The Premise

The landline telephone will always be a necessity in the global era of communication. Unfortunately, the vast majority of telecommunications companies care more about getting your money than about providing you the reliable telephone service that you deserve.

Here's what's going on — lately as mobile phones have become more popular with consumers, more and more people have started adopting that technology. After all, what's not to like? Well, if you haven't read our blog posts on landlines and our blog post on the impacts of technology, I highly encourage you to do so. The trend we've been seen lately is a dangerous one — as mobile phone usage increases, landline telephone usage decreases. In the most extreme cases, the difference between a landline and a mobile phone could be life or death. At the other end, it could be as trivial as a failed relationship because that someone on the other end of the line thought you meant something else and broke up with you all because you were using a mobile phone and suffered from the terrible quality that cell phones come with. Since a good majority of people seem to have adopted mobile phones, a good number of them have posed this question to themselves — if I have a mobile phone, do I even need my landline anymore? After all, I can take my mobile phone anywhere, and my landline just sits here and receives telephone calls, right? You may have been one of these people too — it's a very easy trap to fall into.

So we know the real reasons that landline usage is decreasing everywhere around the world is because of economics. People don't want to pay for two separate telephone systems — why not just keep one? Well, pretty much anywhere in the world, landline telephone service will most likely cost less than your typical mobile phone plan, which means that by switching from a landline to a mobile phone, you actually end up paying more each month. What is more, you get much less for your money. The quality of telephone calls from a mobile phone is much worse, simply because they are not real telephones and they can't and don't use a dedicated wire. Despite this, people seem to have acquired the mindset that they are in fact, saving money. We can narrow this case to folks who have decided that they would like telephone service wherever they go, whether it be at a restaurant or at the mall. The reason being? Simply the fact that because as mobile phone usage as been decreasing, telephone companies have found it less profitable to maintain payphones all over the place. And because telephone companies would rather dedicated their resources to whatever makes them the most money, they then step into the mobile phone game and remove payphones from a number of places, which then ends up prompting more people to get mobile phones, causing the telephone company to remove even more payphones. It's like a never-ending cycle.

This is just one of the problems that "The Landline Project" aims to solve. By breaking this cycle, we can help everyone get back on track to a more humane life. Even though I've already discussed this, I'm going to breifly summarize why you need to still keep your landline, even if that means getting rid of your mobile phone (not the other way around).

21 reasons you "still" need (or want) a landline!

Is there really any reason to have a mobile phone at all?

The long and the short of it is NO — you don't need to be always connected and always reachable. It's literally not healthy for you. And even if you do have a cell phone, that doesn't eliminate your need for a landline. The truth is that mobile phones really aren't an innovation of the landline telephone. They're a completely separate technology, and they're a downgrade at that. Now, in the age of technology, why would you downgrade? You wouldn't give up your all-powerful desktop at work for a 5 inch tablet, so why should your telephone needs be any different?

Now, what about smartphones, you might ask? They can do so much more than just a landline telephone! True, you can't send an email with your landline (although you can send a fax), but analyze the situation a little bit — the purpose of a telephone is to be able to successfully place and receive telephone calls. And at that, a landline telephone wins over a mobile phone anytime, anywhere. In otherwords, cellphones, mobile phones, smartphones — whatever you might call them, are not really telephones in all respects. They're a compromise invention, sort of like how green is a compromise of yellow and blue. You don't get the full benefits of yellow, and you don't get the full benefits of blue, but you just get a little bit of both. That's what smartphones are. They aren't as good at being telephones as a landline telephone. And they aren't as good at any non-telephone stuff as a computer. You get a very compromised experience. The smartphone is a compromise invention that isn't good at doing anything in particular. It can do a variety of tasks, but it can't do any of them well. This is why power users don't use mobile devices and they use desktops. Why would they want a compromise device when they can get the real thing? If you need to do anything besides making telephone calls, use a computer. You might scoff at senior citizens for sending faxes, sending telegrams, using Windows XP and using a rotary telephone, but the reality is that all of those are much more capable and much more powerful than the small, lightweight, mobile, compromise devices of today. So senior citzens aren't technology-dumb — they're actually much smarter than the younger generations that are more mobile these days. They know what's best for them, and they've made the right choice. Most young people aren't yet old enough to know the difference between technology and real life, and most mobile device users don't have much ambition either. You wouldn't use a tablet to get real work done compared to a desktop, would you? Why should making a telephone call be different? Think about it.

If you think about it, this actually makes a lot of sense. We always like things to be bigger and better. Landlines offer superior call quality and they offer numerous benefits that mobile phones simply were not designed to exceed. Getting rid of our deeply integrated POTS grid will return us to a pre-1870s era. Landlines today are most often found in the homes of the wealthy. Indirectly, landlines have become representative of how developed a country is, as most developing countries typically lack landline infrastructure

Finally, I'll wrap this section up by reviewing this case at a different angle — in addition to the benefits of landlines and some of the negatives of mobile phones, there are negatives about mobile technology in general as well as positives about fixed technology (like landlines and desktops). For one thing, we have been increasingly increasing our reliance on technology, which has become especially profound as mobile devices emerged and gained popularity. Many people can't remember telephone numbers anymore. And almost as horrendous, many people aren't able to navigate anywhere by themselves. Now that you can load maps onto a mobile phone, complete with GPS capability, many people have effectively used technology to replace a large portion of their brain. You don't see the negative consequences of this until the technology isn't there anymore. For example, in the early 1900s, if telephones just suddenly disappeared, what would the effect on society have been? Well, probably not much, given that at the time only the elite owned telephones. Today, however, a large part of way of doing things would unravel rather quickly! The point? GPS is a great resource, no doubt — but you must remember too much of anything is fatal, and technology is a great example of this. We have reached the threshold where there is more technology that humans really should be exposed to on a regular basis. We have crossed the threshold where technology is no longer aiding or supplementing the human experience, rather, it is replacing it. Being able to navigate somewhere is a life skill. No matter how much technology there is, you need to know how to do. Anyone can use a computer and be able to calculate the route from Seattle to Chicago using a program like Bing Maps. The question is, without technology, could you do it? Human ingenuity, the true value of one's role today, is not determined by what he or she can do with technology. It is what he or she can do without it. In other words, if computers and telephones weren't around, would your life have value? If the answer to that is probably not, you need to rethink a core component of how you live your life. As for navigation, you should for sure be able to navigate more or less anywhere in your vicinity, including to any street in your town or city, and major areas in the surrounding metropolis. For those in a rural area, it would be a good idea to know how to get to an urban area. And everyone should know where all of the interstate highways in their state go and the very basics, like the names and capitols of all 50 states. A GPS system, or a navigation tool like Bing Maps is great when you're going somewhere you've never been before and lies outside your immediate area, such as in a neighboring county or state. But a GPS is still a little extreme — finding directions on your computer and printing them out should suffice — true, you might miss a turn. But you'll be able to drive without that annoying GPS voice and more importantly, it's about the journey, not the destination. Immerse yourself in the surroundings. Enjoy the thrill of driving and not knowing where you're going. You'll pay more attention and you'll gain a better appreciation for the world around you. There is a world outside of technology — embrace it.

The Next Step

Inevitably, not all the arguments made in this article will appeal to everyone. A few of them may have struck a chord with you, depending on how logical you are. Regardless, the reality is that most telephone companies have turned selfishly against their customers. By raising your telephone bills, they'll hope that you drop landline service so they can abandon the technology all together in order to maximize profits. Plenty of people, including us, are mortified at how greedy large telephone corporations, especially those that also provide mobile phone services, have become. If your telephone company is pressuring you to drop your landline, or you've noticed that your bills have been increasing every month, that's probably a sign that your telephone company no longer has your best interests in mind.

Don't play right into their trap! Stand up for your right to basic, safe, reliable connectivity, and defend your copper landline! Contact us using the link at the bottom of this page if you need assistance in defending your right to safe, reliable communications.

Why You Should Be Concerned

Verizon has disconnected numerous landline customers in Brooklyn Heights, New York, without warning. This is not temporary, Verizon has PERMANENTLY disconnected these landlines, again, without warning! Verizon is forcing people over to wireless service, mobile service, or fiber service.

This is an unprecedented change in Verizon’s tactics. They are no longer waiting until fiber is installed to rip out copper. They are now ripping out copper before fiber is even in place!

If you haven't read the article linked above, read it before continuing. It does a really good job documenting the horror and abuse that has been coming to the landline world on the east coast in recent months.

Verizon, and other phone companies, now have official plans to discontinue landline service as soon as November 30th this year. It is crucial that everyone takes action immediately!

What We Need Everyone To Do

Verizon has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to retire copper in areas of New England, New York and Pennsylvania as it continues moving customers to fiber-based technology. The carrier said it plans to retire copper facilities and replace them with fiber facilities to provide services over its fiber-to-the-home network infrastructure. It plans to do this on or after Nov. 30. The changes will take place in legacy ILEC markets such as Riverside, Rhode Island; several areas in Massachusetts; numerous locations in New York City; and several parts of Pennsylvania, such as Carnagie and Middletown… After the retirement, Verizon will no longer offer services via copper facilities and cease maintaining them… If no objections are filed, a notice of copper retirement usually will be deemed final on the 90th day after the release of the Commission’s public notice of the filing; however, if a retirement doesn’t involve any customers, those will be deemed final on the 15th day after the release of the public notice. — Channel Partners, Sept. 1, 2018

Please file comments for ALL of the below FCC dockets!

Verizon: 18-252, 18-259, 18-257, 18-260, 18-252, 18-207
CenturyLink: 18-245, 18-246, 18-233
AT&T: 18-267, 18-220, 18-219
Other: 18-253, 18-192, 18-277, 18-286, 18-291, 18-287, 18-289, 18-290, 18-288, 18-297, 18-296, 18-303, 18-304

Notice how many of the docket numbers are right by each other! I found these on the Wireline Competition Headlines page under News & Events, by searching for “WCB Copper Retirement” There is a coordinated move in industry to quickly expedite the elimination of copper on the East Coast! We MUST act now!

Notices of copper retirement get posted to this FCC news page with the keywords "WCB Copper Retirement". Consider watching this page as that way we can stay on top of any new notices of retirement.

Other Things You Can Do

  1. Contact Verizon (Verizon, not Verizon Wireless) – call 1-800-VERIZON to speak with an agent. Let them know this is NOT okay!
  2. File a complaint with the New York Public Service Commission. 1-800-342-3377 for voice, (518) 472-8502 for fax
  3. File an electronic complaint with the New York PSC. Make sure you select Verizon (lec).
  4. File an electronic complaint with the FCC.
  5. Tell the FCC your landline story. This is not the same thing as filing a complaint. This is used internally within the FCC.
  6. Write to your local newspaper, condemning Verizon’s antics and exposing their agenda. It is only going to get worse!
  7. If you are on social media, it doesn't hurt to post about this issue so this bad press coverage appears in their feed. People need to know what's going on.