Joe bought the Ooma VOIP telephone system, and he pays about $6 a month with 911 service. Leo says that Ooma isn't a landline though, and as such, if the internet goes down, so does your phone system. The nice thing about landlines is that you still have phone service for emergencies if the power goes out. But the phone companies don't want to support it anymore.
JC has a landline for emergencies. Leo says that's a good idea because wired phones don't go out when there's a disaster. It's a smart thing to do. 911 is also far more accurate with physical landlines, versus cellphones that rely on e911 or Regional 911 service, which relies on GPS. But why is universal lifeline service so expensive? He pays over $60 a month! Leo says that's outrageous. Things are so much different now, that you can rely more on phase 2 e911, which is getting your address from GPS longitude and latitude.
Catherine wants to know that since everyone has a cellphone now, is it a waste of money to have a landline? Leo says that most people don't have landlines, but the issue is that with 911, they know your location on a landline. They can send police and fire directly to you. But with mobile devices, the 911 is "e911" which is a regional 911. They don't really know where you are, other than your GPS coordinates. Then they have to forward your call to a local fire and police department.
Jeff has kept his landline because his dad taught him to keep it in case of emergencies and natural disasters. Leo agrees but says phone companies are now relying on internet service for a lot of their service. They're even cutting the copper phone lines so they don't have to maintain them anymore. That's where HAM radio operators come in hand during a disaster. But he can still get universal lifeline service for under $10/month, and it's Real 911. Make sure it's powered by the central office.
Mignon's elderly mother had a copper landline, but lately, it stopped working. Leo says that the phone company doesn't want her to have those anymore, they want to move to newer technologies like fiber optic. But Mignon wants an always-on option, plus the internet. Leo says that DSL Extreme may be able to help. The phone company may have a battery backup that they will install. A cheap or lifeline cellphone could also be an option.
Gloria is having trouble getting a local radio station over her landline. Leo says that often happens when living near a powerful 50,000 watt radio station. It can not only leach into phone lines, but also teeth fillings. She also has a modem connected via splitter so she can plug in her phone. Leo says to try removing everything and plug the phone directly into the wall. Leo suspects the phone line was accidentally cut, and she should call the phone company.
Keetahn wants to know if he can hardwire a speaker to his cell phone that will let people hear the phone ringing in another room. Leo says that a Bluetooth speaker would be ideal, but the problem is that it can lose connectivity and would need re-pairing. Leo says the best is a base station corded phone that he can pair with his cell phone service.
Judy has been switched to Frontier and now her landline has vanished. So she can't call out or receive calls. Is there a way she can just get her internet from a MiFi and smartphones? Leo says absolutely. The MiFi would allow her to use apps like Skype, Tango, and others to purchase minutes to call any landline using it. Then she'd have a phone number. The downside is that she won't have 911 support. So when she dials 911, she'd get a regional center and it's harder for them to find exactly where she is.
Tella wants to know if she can change her ringtones from her regular landline phone. Leo says that she could do it with a mobile phone, but for landlines, it's built into the phone. She can change the duration or frequency of rings, but not the ring itself.
Paul just upgraded to an Apple iPhone 6 Plus, but every time he gets a call from a landline, he gets an echo. Could it be the Wi-Fi calling feature or noise suppression? Could it be a T-Mobile issue? Leo doesn't think so. But it could be a delay when talking from Wi-Fi or cellular to the landline. This is an odd issue that often happens on the radio show. And they've never been able to track it down. Leo says to get Apple to replace the iPhone. If it still happens, it's the network, not the phone.