Are home landlines (hard-wired telephone service) becoming a thing of the past? The stats are very telling. According to this article on Gigaom, as of last year, over half the homes in America had either eliminated their landline altogether, or quit using it.
The survey found that more than one-third of American homes (35.8 percent) had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2012 while 15.9 percent of all households had both landline and wireless telephones but received all or almost all calls on the wireless phones. This means 51.7 percent of U.S. homes don’t have or didn’t use their landlines in the first half of 2012. That’s a 1.8 percent increase from the same period a year ago.
No Point in Replacing Landlines?
Another interesting article proclaims, “It’s now wireless-or-bust for residents of Mantoloking, NJ.” Mantoloking is a small town that was hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy. Telephone lines were among the casualties. In the wake of the storm, Verizon decided not to rebuild the copper-line network. Instead, it is offering residents a wireless option.
Verizon will not rebuild its copper-line telephone network in Mantoloking, N.J., a community of about 300 that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Asbury Park Press reports. Instead, the company is offering residents a new service called Verizon Voice Link, which connects wired and cordless phones to the Verizon Wireless network.
Verizon Voice Link won’t be vulnerable to unpredictable-but-common accidents like cars hitting telephone poles and trees falling on utility wires. According to Verizon, installation is free, and prices are the same as or less than what customers were paying for landline service.
The Same Fate for Wired Security Systems
These articles bring to light several interesting points related to home security. If Americans are ditching their home landlines, they obviously have no interest in hard-wired security systems. Those old-fashioned wired alarms need a landline in order to communicate with the central monitoring station. There are many disadvantages of a wired system, but the most critical one is highlighted in the paragraph above: landlines are vulnerable. The article about the NJ town focuses on natural or accidental threats to a landline system, but burglars are actually the more common problem, because they destroy landlines on purpose. Burglars have learned how alarm systems work and they know the system will be useless if it can’t communicate with the outside world. If the alert never gets through to the monitoring station, the cops never show up. In a burglar’s mind, that’s the perfect scenario. So he packs a pair of wire cutters, snips the home phone line before breaking in, and is then free to “go about his business,” uninterrupted by the local police force.
The Wireless Generation
The Gigaom article goes on to say that “telcos like AT&T and Verizon try to get out of the landline business altogether.” Will anyone care? According to the demographic stats presented, the younger generation, at least, may not miss landlines at all, as they are quickly converting to wireless-only households. But they aren’t alone:
- 60.1% of people aged 25-29 live in households without landlines
- 58.2% of renters have only wireless phones at home
- By a small margin, men are more likely than women to live without landlines – 35.2% vs. 32.9%
The article predicts that the trend toward wireless-only households will affect activities such as phone-based surveying. It’s also clear to us that it will affect the survival of traditional wire-based alarm systems. As households opt for the cost-savings and convenience of wireless phones, they in turn embrace the benefits of 100% wireless alarm systems.
Fortunately, these households can turn to security providers like FrontPoint. We have been 100% wireless since Day 1. We saw the inherent safety flaw in traditional wired alarm systems and solved the problem with our safe, cellular systems. Our alarm systems communicate with the monitoring station via a secure cellular network. No wires means there’s virtually no way for the burglar to defeat our security system. Without wires our systems are also incredibly easy to set up, with no installation fees. Our customers don’t need landlines, and they don’t need to wait around for a technician to show up and drill holes in their walls. We believe these are just a few of the reasons why FrontPoint ranks so highly on customer review sites, earning the #1 spot more often than any other security provider.