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Landlines versus portable/mobile

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Florence61 Report 25 Jul 2013 00:13

Hi peeps, following on from a chat on another thread, i want to say that with regards to landlines, at least when the power goes off, yu can still make tel calls.

I live in an area when during the gales in winter mostly, our power goes off and if you have a digital tel, it's useless.

Noone can tel you and you cant tel out. My mil was given one of these "modern" phones and i have said many times, get your old phone out back on because if you need us when the power is off(she is a widow) you cant tel us for help.

i know some will say you can have both and switch over but in a blackout, thats not easy for an elderly person to do.

Also, having a portable tel beside you on the armchair means they can sit all evening and not have to get up which is not good for the elderly's circulation.

This quite often means that when they go to bed, the battery is flat and so is put on charge meaning they have no tel beside their bed. Worse still they completely forget to charge it and also forget where they leave the tel sometimes, bedroon, bathroom who knows.

I just wonder what the general opinion was amongst members on here. Are you for or against modern technology.?Do you use a landline or something else?

In the hebrides


jax Report 25 Jul 2013 00:41

I was wondering last night, how I would get out of my electric recliner if the power goes off....I know batteries can be put in just incase, so maybe I need to get some.

My landline is digital but I have a mobile as well and torch in the pocket of my chair should I be able to get out to do anything :-D


maggiewinchester Report 25 Jul 2013 00:46

If I want a long chat, I use the landline. Much more comfy :-D
I have a handset downstairs and upstairs.
I also have a cheap 'old' phone in the cupboard - mainly because of the trouble I was having with T*lk T*lk.
My mobile is usually in the bottom of one bag or another, it's usually used to text when making arrangements for meeting someone etc, or checking they're in, then these are followed by a landline call :-D


jax Report 25 Jul 2013 00:54

My mobile is really only to talk to people who don't have landlines.....or to make calls before 7 pm


SylviaInCanada Report 25 Jul 2013 01:26

we have a land line phone in the basement where OH has his computer, etc.

On the main floor, we have a portable ................ the base is connected to a socket and jack in the bedroom, and I carry the handset around with me from room to room.

We had additional jacks put in in the basement and in the kitchen years ago, with the original one being in the master bedroom ............... don't ask why!! That was just the way it was when we moved in here in 1972!!

The kitchen jack is used for the answer machine, and the basement one for the old land line phone.

Incidentally, having the two phones means that OH and I can both talk to someone (eg, our daughter) at the same time.

Our telephone company actually recommends that everyone should continue to have a land line phone, in the event of power outages, etc ................. or even for when the "big one" comes. That is the "big" earthquake (an 8 or larger) which is expected "any time" in the next 100 years or so.

We are dinosaurs enough not to have a cell phone, nor do we want one!

We love the ability to go out and about and be "unavailable" :-)


LadyScozz Report 25 Jul 2013 01:46

We have telephones all over the house (for convenience), only one of them will work during an electricity outage.

OH has a mobile 'phone for work, but it won't work where we live, even though we can see the tower on top of the hill! We often see neighbours walking in the street with a 'phone jammed to their ears. We keep saying we live in a black hole.

When we go out (socially) the mobile 'phone stays at home.

If mobile 'phones had been available when I was young & single (a looooong time ago) I wouldn't have bothered with a land line.



RolloTheRed Report 25 Jul 2013 10:30

The days of POTS ( plain old telephone service ) are numbered and it will be phased out at some point. For AT&T tomorrow would not be too soon...

In practice the phase out will start with no new POTS connections i.e. ADSL/digital or fibre only and then POTS service will be gradually withdrawn. The current fixed number system is likely to outlive the POTS system it was designed for.

♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 25 Jul 2013 10:46

So in the case of an electrical blackout we will lose all connection to the outside world. :-0

Mobiles need charging & do not always get a signal here in the countryside
No fibre
Computers/TV/Radio need electricity to work

I really do think that the powers that be should stop & THINK.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 25 Jul 2013 10:57

As long as there is still a physical connection Rollo! Don't forget that there are still some parts of the UK who have slow internet connection via their phone lines and have had to pay themselves to run in fibre optics or something similar.

We both have basic pay-as-you-go mobiles costing about £20 top-up. It makes for amusing conversations when cold callers or sales people in the street say that they can reduce our mobile phone costs! Half the time the batteries are flat. The other half we don't realise that its one of our phones which are ringing!

In the house, we have 3 wireless telephone hand sets; the base unit is plug into the phone line.... and a cheap wired one we can plug in during a power cut.

Florence has raised an interesting point - the inlaws have a similar system to ours; we need to check that they have wired phone they can plug in if necessary


DazedConfused Report 25 Jul 2013 11:32

All my family and friends know that if they want to talk to me to use the landline. My mobile is switched off most of the time. It goes with me when I go out at 4.30 am to take OH to work in case of a breakdown, which has been the case. And again comes with me when I go out later in the afternoon to pick him up from the station (this time it is switched on in case of problems with trains/station).

Nearly every time I switch my phone on there will be a message, usually from Orange!!!

My mobile is my safety net, not a necessity. My landline is my first means of contact with the outside world.

And remember when buying online etc., many firms are very suspicious of mobile phone numbers and not landline numbers, for some reason most frauds are done via mobile phones and not landlines.

;-) ;-)

Oh and I forgot to add, I live on a hill in South London, our reception for mobile phones, tv etc., is awful, so it is not just those living in rural areas with this problem. And I can see at least one mobile phone transmitter from my bedroom window.


RolloTheRed Report 25 Jul 2013 11:36

Don't blame me POTS ( the telephony equivalent of analog TV ) is for the chop - the typical £ 14 / month paid in the UK for a phone connection on top of even Virgin fibre is to finance POTS.

It is not going to disappear overnight or in any big bang but will gradually fade away along with the POTS surcharge. Most people will not even realise it has gone.

Broadband over wifi is a far more cost effective way of rolling out phone/net connections than POTS copper especially in remote areas. Most of the journey for any voice call is now as a digitised signal anyway with only the "last mile" at most on analog copper. BT Operreach are busy getting that down to the last hundred meters or so.

Yes, lack of power could be a problem though as it is perfectly possible to power a connection from a solar panel not all that much.

A big chunk of my roots are in Rutland. Among the many things that make Rutland a wonderful place is the high speed broadband rolled out by the County Council. Rural areas can have as fast a link as they want if they get their digit out.


Florence61 Report 25 Jul 2013 18:59

Well thankyou peeps for all the interesting comments, quite a wide variety.

i personally only use my mobile and have it switched on when i am away from the house, so in an emergency for school or family, i can be contacted. I only top up £5.oo per month.

I have a landline and wont get rid of it. far more reliable than anthing else and never needs charging.

We have 3 sockets in the house and 2 tel. One in bedroon, lounge and kitchen. so wherever i am in the house i can get to and hear the tel easily.

If the landline was going to be phased out, it would be a disaster up here where power cuts in winter are frequent. Mobiles forever have to be charged as well as cordless phones so not reliable at all.

In the hebrides


StrayKitten Report 25 Jul 2013 19:31

i have a landline but dont have a phone plugged in, my mobile if not in my hand is charging next to me, so ill be fine in a powercut,

failing that ill walk over the road and use mams landline :-D


RolloTheRed Report 25 Jul 2013 19:47

When the power goes off ... there are such things as standby generators from £ 200 and up. Even the basic ones will easily power lights, computers and tv. Diesel is a lot safer than petrol.

High end can deliver 30 amps propane/diesel and be wired to cut in automatically. With propane and depending on territory they can be cheaper than mains electricity.

Otherwise here is a possibility


SylviaInCanada Report 25 Jul 2013 19:48


won't a power cut affect the charging of your mobile???????


RolloTheRed Report 25 Jul 2013 20:00

It ain't necessarily so ...

though solar charging is possibly challenging in the Yukon winters.
Mush, mush.


StrayKitten Report 25 Jul 2013 20:35

in the long run it would, but not short term, and as my mum lives opposite id be ok, ;-)


Elizabethofseasons Report 25 Jul 2013 20:40

Dear Florence61


Hope you are okay.

At our home, we have got a landline with an extension because if the mobile telephone network had to be shut down at least, you can still communicate with
loved ones.

As with so many things, the use of mobiles has got completely out of hand.

Its like people have them attached to their hands all the time.

I don't want to hear peoples medical or personal details!

I like having a tumble dryer, washing machine and fridge freezer because
I remember when we didn't have them and it was a struggle at times
so I am very grateful for them.

Take gentle care
Best wishes
Elizabeth, EOS


Florence61 Report 25 Jul 2013 20:47

Yes solar charging is ok as are wind turbines, but not 100% reliable.

When my son was born in 1995, we had a disasterous winter with snow 2ft deep, gales and no power for 4 days!

There was no petrol available from our local shop as it couldnt operate with no generator!

The only comfort we had was a lovely coal fire with boiling water made in a teapot.

If we hadnt a landline then and only a mobile, life would have been difficult keeping in touch with family as we couldnt drive anywhere and the mobile would have been out of charge.

Sometimes i think its always best to stick with reliability, especially when you live in a remote area like i do.

The other week we had no water and on a sunday when shops here are closed, the operator at scottish water suggested i go to my supermarket and buy a dozen bottles as it wouldnt be fixed for at least 24 hrs. When I said well its a 60 mile trip and by the way, its sunday shops here are close, they seemed very amazed.

Anyway, we are all creatures of habit in some way and some of us older ones need a bit more convincing before we move over totally to modern technology!
In the hebrides

PS My sil has a generator, but unless we know its going to be off for a long time, not worth running out to the garage to start it up as once she did that and then by the time she went back indoors, the power was back on!! :-)


RolloTheRed Report 25 Jul 2013 20:48

There is this fantastic series about the Hebrides on BBC2, latest episode soon.
"Islands on the Edge"