Landlines in CA, WA, & OR Maybe On The Chopping Block
Kids, you have no idea how good you have it. Back in the day, the phone was hooked to the wall or sat on a table. Depending on the phone, you could pick it up and take it with you for about 5 feet until you ran out of cord. And if you called your friend, chances are, you had to talk to their parents for a while as you waited for your buddy to run to the room to get to it (the phone).
I long for the joyful times of the landline. I have many fond memories of eavesdropping on my brother's phone calls from another phone in the house. The annoyance when the phone was busy or the harsh tones if the number was disconnected. Having to call the operator to place a long-distance call or to make a collect call. And don't get me started on all the wacky shapes and styles of telephones. (I'm looking at you Sports Illustrated Football phone!)
Landlines are becoming a thing of the past, and experts say it is expected that less than 5% of landlines will be operating by 2030.
What does this mean for those who want to keep their landline?
As phone companies like AT&T and Verizon help to update the telecommunication infrastructure, replacing older copper wire telephone lines with more advanced fiber optics and Ethernet equipment, people who still choose to have a landline may have to pay higher prices.
It's still a huge process. Not only will small businesses and households with a landline be affected, but places that rely heavily on fax machines (hospitals, medical clinics, hotels), emergency call boxes inside elevators, and rural communities (relying on them for access to emergency services) could face considerable issues with the change.
There has been a push from AT&T to stop servicing landlines in California. Approval from the California Public Utilities Commission is (at the time of this writing) still under review, with pushback from the Rural Country Representatives of California. For more on these talks, click here.
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