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No more phone jacks for land lines?

Posted by schoolhouse (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 11, 14 at 14:55

I just purchased a vintage rotary wall phone for my kitchen. Just always loved the older styles of phones, 40's, 50's. Anyway it occurred to me that in all the reveals both here and on HGTV, one never sees a land line phone either on the wall or on a table. At least I don't recall seeing any. I assume it's because of the wide use of cell phones now days, but it brings up the question of are phone jacks and wiring for land lines even being considered in plans of new builds?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I would think in some areas of the country there is nothing available for internet but phone lines...I live in a suburban neighborhood, most houses built in the 1980's or newer, yet we cannot get cable here, as there is not enough density to make it cost effective to the cable company (the monopoly). So any new homes around here would have to have phone lines included. Might not be true in some more dense areas?


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I think they hide a lot of things on Houzz and HGTV and in magazines. I know in magazines they often Photoshop things around and out.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I was thinking about this the other day. We have phone jacks everywhere from the days when you'd have a landline for voice, a landline for internet and perhaps even a third for--I can't remember what for! I do know we had three numbers at one time. Some of them seem like eyesores now. My cousin, an electrician, even pointed out that he hadn't seen a phone jack as old as the one in our family room for a long time. Anyway, they were here when we bought the house. I'm sure it would be built differently now.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I still have phone jacks with a 2-set cordless system. Keep one in LR and one in the BR.

Also, (don't laugh) have a wall corded phone in DR.
We had massive electrical and communications outages almost two years ago when a major tornado and hail storm went through our region. When the towers are destroyed, the cell phones don't work! And when the power is out for days, you can't charge your phones and computers don't work.

We never thought it would happen to us.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

You're right tuesday...........I was in Miss. when Katrina came thru and the only phones that would work were the land lines. For that reason I keep a corded phone in the closet, just in case.
There are too many things that still need phone lines, especially my DSL, so I doubt they're going anywhere soon.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I still have a corded phone in my bedroom, for all the reasons Tuesday pointed out.

When we remodeled our kitchen, one of the things the electrician suggested was a powered wall jack. I never knew such a thing existed! Now I can have a cordless phone + answering machine on the wall, without stringing a cord to the nearest outlet. Genius!

My former neighbors built a house a few miles out of town, and were told that the phone company can not/will not run a landline to their development. They were quite annoyed - in spite of the fact that everyone in the family has a cell phone.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Inside the house, my only phone is a rotary dial wall phone in the kitchen. We have another instrument on the wall in the bulk-tank room in the barn..

We have no wireless cell phone reception in the house, but I do have a hard connection to a cellphone signal repeater installed in the attic that is directly connected to my computer modem. Formerly (until about a year ago) I was using a dial up connection for the internet. I do have a cell-phone but it doesn't work at home, so I just keep it in the glove compartment of the car for emergencies. Sometimes I don't even turn it on for a couple of months at a time.

No cable or satellite available here, either.

L.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I can't be without a regular phone...I have kids that stay home alone but they aren't old enough for their own cell phones. We have cordless phones around the house, but I keep an old plug in, non cordless phone for power outages. However, years ago, our phone company got rid of whatever telephone lines they used to use, and we were forced to use their newer lines that run off our modem. I may be explaining that wrong as I don't understand it. They are not those "voice over internet" lines, but the lines run through a modem that is powered by electricity. It has a battery back up but is only good for about 8 hours. I HATE that they did away with the regular lines b/c we lose power regularly for days at a time (a week during the derecho), so after about the first 8 hours, the phone is dead. So if there is an emergency, we can't make calls w/o cell phones.

There are also times when cell towers get jammed during emergency situations (think 9/11), so I don't know that we'd ever get rid of the home phone unless the prices go up significantly.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

After reading about some new malware making the rounds that affects all the major computer OSs & Android too, I realized malware can't affect a landline. One more reason to hang on to the old phone.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Here's the one I bought. It will take the place of a green push button wall phone that I bought from the phone company in the 1970s. I also have an old rotary dial phone in the library. This is a strange thought but I was thinking how much easier (and faster) it is to dial 911 on a button phone. I do have one of those here in the computer room with the answering machine.

 photo vintage-rotary-dial-phone-deco-bakelite-telephone-with-bell-ringer-Laurel-Leaf-Farm-item-no-u3565-1.jpg


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Our new home was supposed to come with a separate phone jack in each bedroom, living room, family room, kitchen and office. I kept the ones in the kichen and in the office in the plan but for the rest of them I told the electrician to just put the phone jacks in with the cable outlets for pay-per-view orders. We use cordless and don't need the jacks everywhere, just one or two.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Schoolhouse, I just love that phone, very nice!


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Be careful about putting a rotary phone in a digital landline jack. I did this, why I am telling you. I was told not to do this as it would short out my line. Guess what. My son wagging his finger saying "I told you so." He fixed the phone (circa my DOB) and fixed it so that it still has the same appearance but the "wiring" works like a digital. No one but he and I know. I still have a princess phone and an old red digital (one of the first colored digital phones by Western Electric built for Bell).

All my family members have land lines just in case. I would assume they will remain as long as AT&T can afford them. My understanding is that they supply them but there is a monetary loss for that, so as long as they will provide them, I guess we will have them. I believe according to the government orders breaking up the monopoly of Bell & AT&T, they were required to provide these lines for all providers, not sure if that is indefinite. I have senior moments.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

patricia, I did think of that when shopping for this phone, but pretty sure the phone has been rewired, at least according to the seller it has been. It's a North Electric 1956 model, made in Galion Ohio. The phone in the library (in photo below) has been in use for many years with no problems - knock on wood. I'll let you know what happens.

 photo 100_5171.jpg


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

It might be fine then. Or your house may also be wired for analog. You will know within a few weeks, if you pick up the receiver and you have dead silence. It's not a hard fix. It's relatively easy but if that happens, you will know what it is most likely. Good luck. Beautiful. My birthday phone is the old oak and black metal on the wall.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

i like your old phones! where did you get them??

the house we're going to be moving to has a jack on the kitchen wall, which is an odd place for one in a fairly new house... i was thinking of trying to find a more old fashioned wall phone to put there-- it needs to be a wall phone since there is not counter space below it... i did see there are 'vintage' looking new phones too that are being made that get mixed reviews...


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

New builds here have phone jacks but it's up to the homeowner to tell the electrician where they want them.

We have jacks in every room. Had 2 jacks put in the LR. We are land line people even though we have cell phones.

You (or we) need them for satellite tv. I guess we have 3 jacks in the living room. lol

I love shopping for phones for each room. In our bedroom on my side of the bed I have a pink princess phone. :)


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

We have Verizon FIOS for telephone, internet, and television. I thought it was a "landline". Apparently not. The telephone has a 6 hour backup battery if the power goes out. Yes, we have phone jacks in several rooms.

I can't imagine not having a "landline" or whatever verizon is calling this. Cell phone service is not reliable. This is not a rural area but we have lots of dead zones. Sometimes our cell phones roam to canada. That means calling 911 goes to another country. There have been local cases where a 911 emergency call lands in Ohio or Canada.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Analog is the term I need to remember patricia. And I'm sure that's what this house (remodeled schoolhouse in 1940) is wired as.

I was thinking about the shorting out of my phone line thing last night and remembered that not too long ago I found a vintage desk phone at an antique shop. It was very heavy and someone had painted it light blue(!), which was flaking off. The cost was only $65, but I debated where I would put another desk phone. It had the necessary jack line and the shop keeper even plugged it in to prove that it worked. There was a dial tone. So thinking back, the building must be analog wired also because there was no problem - as far as I know. Anyway I passed the phone up.

busybee, I found the phone in the library at my aunt's antique shop she used to have long ago. I paid $35 for it. It has a plug at the end of it's cord which I had to in turn plug into another cord with a jack. For the kitchen phone, I've been trolling Ebay and Etsy and online in general for a couple years. I really like the 40's wall phones but most are sold for $250 - $325, in working order with the bell ringers. Others a little cheaper but listed as "untested". And quite a few from other countries - those are the unique ones. But I didn't want to risk that or want to invest in repairs let alone find someone who would do them.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I had a regular verizon landline in my old house but a few years back it stopped being power-outage friendly. Apparently they switched from analog to digital and somewhere along the route, power is needed.

So last summer I moved to a new build development and there are verizon landline jacks in each room and a wall jack in the kitchen. I was told that in this town telephone service is still analog and would be good for power outages. It's on my to-do list to set it up, but I just haven't made it happen yet. I have gotten used to just having one phone number now.

There are about 45 others in the development and I am told none of them have a standard Verizon landline. Most have Comcast VOIP or cell phone only.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Now I'm angry with Verizon. we, too, have FIOS. A few weeks ago we were asked by Verizon if it was okay with us if they moved the telephone to FIOS.

The only thing we would have to do was to reset the voice mail message. i told them sure.

NEVER were we told that having the telephone on FIOS would reault in loss of a landline during a long power outage. We are in an area where we have been days without power.

Stinky way of doing business...

ML


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I suppose the agreement between the government and AT/T & Bell has expired and they no longer are required to supply land lines for customers. AT&T is the only company that ever had land lines. When that agreement of the break-up (can't remember the name) was made, it had limits I am sure as to how many years they had to provide lines for the competition's customers. I was fuming when that happened, because if there was ever anything we did well in this country, it was supply phone service. If you had not lived or traveled abroad prior to that time and experienced the European or other phone systems, you have no idea what I am talking about.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

i had no idea fios didn't provide you with a landline... fios isn't available in our neighborhood yet, but that's something to consider should it become available...
fwiw, with sandy and this last winter storm outage, we also lost our landline phone service for a period of time- less than the outage time, but for about 1 1/2 days with this last storm and for several days with sandy.....


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I would not go along with agreeing to Fios at my old place. I was probably the only holdout on my street and they were probably thrilled when I moved out. I was constantly getting letters from them giving me false deadlines to switch over. I imagine if I stayed there and stuck to it, I probably would have ended up paying a copper surcharge.

Regardless of what service, it probably is a good idea to have two types of services in case of emergency. What if cell towers have attacks or something terrible. This thread is a good reminder for me. I'm going to bump up getting a landline on my to-do list.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Another issue with fios is YOU need to replace the battery used for the backup when it starts beeping. $8.

Its a love hate relationship with verizon. FIOS really does give you the best television quality, the fastest internet speed (we have quantum) at least in our area. Some day if the kids ever move out we will ditch the fios television and just keep the internet and phone. We have a actual antenna in our attic and can get HD stations from the US and Canada (close to the border). Did you know HD was developed for antennas and the quality is better?

Wendyb you summed it up. Have options.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Yep, Verizon FIOS, that is what I have that I wasn't describing very well up above. When we got their triple play package, that is when they got rid of our landline - without telling me! I would not have opted for that and once they switched me, they wouldn't let me switch back.

I too think it's ridiculous that we can't rely on having a phone in a power outage. How did this happen? I just don't understand how this is not a safety issue. I suppose for some, it's never really been a problem but for those of us who regularly lose power, it is a real safety hazard. When the derecho hit us a couple of years ago, our power was out for nearly a week. I remember sitting in a packed Starbucks trying to charge my phone - every last outlet was taken and I was fortunate to get there early enough to grab one b/f they were all taken.

And now with this nor'easter arriving, we were warned by robocall to be prepared for power outages. Great. Thankfully, my generous neighbors, who have a hard-wired generator and are vacationing in Hawaii all month, left us their key before they left and told us to use their house if we lost power while they were gone. Fingers crossed we won't need to take them up on their offer!


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I didn't know this until the derecho when my phone died after a few days - Verizon FIOS does have a back-up battery system for your phone. Yes, you do have to replace it on your dime (I don't remember how many days it lasts) but if you do, you will have phone in a power outage. Just don't buy it from Verizon, it is about half as much on Amazon.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

The battery backup supposedly only lasts 6- 8 hours!!!!

If you think you might be out for a long time, I would pull the battery and just put it in when you need it.


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I think it lasts longer than that - we made it a few days into the derecho, and that was after a few years of power outages here and there.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Sorry that this thread got off track a little.

But, dumb question, where is this FIOS battery that I need to deal with?

ML


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

Where did they install your FIOS box? Ours is in our basement where are phone line comes into the house. It is there. We have had FIOS about 3 years???? I have had to replace the battery only once. It starts beeping.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

We decided to have a landline just in case - for medical emergencies and power outages.


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FIOS was installed here in 2006. The box is in the garage, the battery still shows that its ok. I called Verizon, they confirmed that the battery (for the telephone only) should last 8 hours in case of a power outage.

When I expressed to them that I wasn't happy that the fact that we may not have telephone service during a long power outage wasn't explained to me when we made the switch to FIOS for the telephone, they told me that if I hadn't changed when we did (12-2013) we would have had to before long anyway. Still stinks (IMHO).

Thanks for alerting me about this, now I know to check that battery once in awhile.

ML


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

As an add on to this conversation regarding emergencies. Make sure your cell has reverse 911 (if available) for city/county emergencies.

We lost many in fires who did not have this and got caught in fire storms and mud slides/flash floods. In these situations the danger was known, news reports gave information that the location was far enough away to give them some time for getting out, albeit a very short time. Emergency personnel going to so many homes was burdening the ability to get to all and in some cases not possible to do so.

You need to sign up for reverse 911, registration should be for each phone. The use is for more than just natural devastations. Once the call/message is answered it won't repeat the information. Our city just started this last year due to the floods and fires. Most land lines already had the option. Check to see if you have this available, many cities are still working on activation.

Also, somewhere in the last few years I remember having mobile phones connected to a main unit inhouse. Nothing worked when electric went out, so yes to the battery backup or the wonderful phone you found. I also took out the kitchen unit for tiling and it shut down the other connections. So make sure you don't mess with the main line, perhaps just cover it up with something that matches the backsplash and can be removed.

Landlines are not available in my neighborhood area either, connections are strictly for electronic use. I never considered this until mentioned here.

And now remember when my kids told me it was time to just go cell and get rid of the landline. But I'm not good at knowing where the cell is most of the time and unless it rings couldn't tell you on a moments notice. Doesn't bear well for emergencies either way since I'm the only one here. Tethered is not going to happen, out of reach does me little good if there were an emergency. How do others handle this one?


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I have my cell phone but rarely use it, mostly used for long distance and for carrying with me when I travel either on a trip or just into town or emergencies. My 85yr. Mom needs to be able to contact me. I put the phone in my back pocket but don't always remember to turn it on! Lot of good that does. I don't necessarily like having to carry it around but....it is nice to have when you have a car break down or lost,etc. I pay $47 a month and hardly use any of the minutes given me per month.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines? - Bluetooth+cell

When I first considered going cell-only, I quickly realized that depending on it for incoming calls when I am at home was a problem. I was always missing calls because I didn't hear it ring or could not get to it in time.

So I got a bluetooth cordless phone system with 5 satellite handsets. Now all the handsets ring when I get a call so I can't miss the ring! I don't actually use the handsets to talk and I don't use them for making outgoing calls. But I can. The voice quality is not always up to snuff. But it solved my problem of not hearing the cell phone ring. I have one in the basement, one in the garage, living room and 2 bedrooms. No more running around. And the bluetooth system I got has caller-announce feature so it speaks the phone number calling me. If I entered contact info, I'm sure it would tell me the name of the caller too.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

The phone companies in this state (ATTand Verizon mostly) have been floating the idea of abandoning all land line service for a few years. The public utilities commission has shot it down of course, because there still are large areas of the state that don't have access to alternatives. I expect that the companies will succeed in getting permission to abandon in metro areas, at least, especially now that cell service is being provided to low income populations by the government.

Schoolhouse, you use your cell just as I do. I mostly had mine because of my elderly mother; and keep it really only for emergencies. I use Net10, which is carried on ATT towers in this area, at a cost of $15/month for 150 minutes. Have to buy time in 1 month increments.
My DD uses Tracphone. Tracphone's plans are slightly different in that minutes are good for longer before needing to add time, which would actually be better for me -- but I have so many minutes accumulated with Net10 that I won't switch. Plus now I don't have to pay for long distance service on the landline, I can use the cell.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

We don't have a landline, although we do have jacks. Our house phone is one of those with a base unit and cordless handsets. After many many years, the handsets won't hold a charge long enough to hold a complete three minute conversation. DH and are are playing the "Who Will Give In First and Go Buy A New Phone" game. Well, actually, I am playing-I suspect he is totally oblivious to the game and expects me to go get the new phone. Ha.

I think I am just going to add a new iPhone to our family plan and use the home number for it. We are near DC, so plenty of cell phone coverage here. Our city is even considering providing free WIFI throughout the town. That would be cool. We already have it in Old Town, but we don't live in that section of town. As far as missing calls if we don't hear it ring, I won't care so much. I hate talking on the phone anyway. :)


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

@cyn247 u probably don't need a new phone. cordless handsets need fresh rechargeable batteries every few years. Rechargeables only recharge a finite amount of time. Some companies use standard AA rechargeables and others have their own (GE,etc.) that are easily replaceable.

Its not clear how you are using that without a landline??? bluetooth? VOIP?


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

The current phone on my kitchen wall has a cavity in the back of it for a jack line to plug into, and the wall plate on the wall also has the cavity to plug in a line into. Wednesday I went to Radio Shack and bought a 5" jack line (with plugs on each end) to replace the nearly 6' line that had to be jammed inside the phone and which I could never get back in there. So now it lays flat on the wall plate like it should.

Now - I'm wondering how the seller rigged up the jack line to the vintage 1956 North Electric. Did he wire a line with a jack on the end onto an existing wire inside? or did he create a cavity of sorts so all I have to do is plug my 5" jack line into the phone and into the wall like my present phone? If he hard wired a long line coming out of the phone (with a jack on the end) I'm going to be disappointed. Oh well, will have to see.

I noticed on the site that it says returns are accepted but "as partial refund in merchandise from the site". ugh.


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

I guess I should have emailed the seller those questions. LOL


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RE: No more phone jacks for land lines?

You're right Wendy, the base unit is plugged into the jack for the landline, but it also connects to the electrical outlet and doesn't work without power. We did change the batteries, but the handsets just won't hold a charge anymore.


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