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Could you do without a land line phone at home?

No, I won't give up a land line 40% 513 votes
I am considering going totally cellular 28% 357 votes
I've already gone totally cellular 30% 383 votes
Total Votes: 1253

Note: This is not a scientific poll.

comments


May 7, 2009
12:12 p.m.

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nygirl61 ( nygirl61 ) says...

When we're all looking for ways to cut costs, this is one area I think a lot of people will be looking at. If you subscribe to anything other than dial-up service, it makes no sense to keep the land line... why pay extra!

May 7, 2009
2:02 p.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

For me, it's not about the money. Coming from the Hilltowns, I have no choice but to keep my landline as the cell service here is non-existent. It's nice having 5000 acres of state lands nearby, but the utilities don't see the need to provide service because the area is too sparsely populated to make it worth their while.

It took the death of one man on the Northway to get service there. How long will the phone companies have to wait to prevent the same up here?

FWIW - This includes the cable TV/internet companies, too. There is a critical need for our children to have access to high speed internet connections to remain competitive in school, yet they are limited to dial-up or satellite service that doesn't work in the snow, rain and can even be slower than molasses when it's sunny.

How about using some of the President's ARRA money to bring the rest of us to the 21st century?

May 7, 2009
4:07 p.m.

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nightowl ( nightowl ) says...

Yes, I agree totally! Our children and grandchildren, living in rural areas, deserve high speed internet access to keep up with what the schools expect in the twenty-first century. No longer can students just use paper and pencil and be competitive with those that have high speed internet to do research. This is especially true in the higher grades, even in elementary school. These students are the future of our country. Do what you can for them and our future.

May 7, 2009
4:36 p.m.

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mhowie ( mhowie ) says...

I would consider dumping the land line if I got decent cell reception at home ... alas, I don't.

May 7, 2009
6:11 p.m.

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Lou ( Lou ) says...

Reasons for keeping the land line:
1. I have kept one old hard-wired phone at home. It is the only one that works during a power outage.
2. In spite of the fact that NY state has been collecting a tax on cells for years to implement a Cell 911 system, it has not been implemented. Only a 911 call from a land line phone is automtically located by the local emergency services.
3. Cell phone numbers are not in the phone book making it nearly impossible for an old acquaintance to find you.

May 7, 2009
6:31 p.m.

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gonnamakeit ( gonnamakeit ) says...

Thank you!, NYGIRL61. I agree with you 100%. I've gone cellular. My cellphone has 911-GPS capabilities and many more features a landline does not offer. Sure it's a little more expensive but to have a landline and no cellphone is not what's going on in the technology world today. So i'd choose cellphone over a landline.

May 8, 2009
4:49 a.m.

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seawitch1313 ( seawitch1313 ) says...

I have land line and internet services combined. I have checked online faxing and they charge a monthly fee with no guarentee so for now, since i fax things quite often, i'll keep my land line as well as my cell phone a while longer.

May 8, 2009
7:16 a.m.

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annarondac ( annarondac ) says...

We've totally given up our land lines at our winter home. The taxes on phone lines are excessive, so I'd rather have the dollars in my pockets than the government.

May 8, 2009
8:22 a.m.

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w18761 ( w18761 ) says...

To those who are in 'rural' areas: why should the government and/or cable/internet companies lay an infrastructure to an area where there wouldn't be enough revenues to support that kind of investment?

If you want these services you should either be willing to live in an area that has them, or be willing to pay for the cost of laying the infrastructure needed.

May 8, 2009
9:42 a.m.

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annarondac ( annarondac ) says...

I'm afraid your too late w18761, it's already in the porkulous package.

May 8, 2009
12:42 p.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

>> why should the government and/or cable/internet companies lay an infrastructure to an area where there wouldn't be enough revenues to support that kind of investment? <<

1 - because the government's charge is to 'serve the people' - ALL of the people - not just where it is convenient.

The contracts that government establishes with the companies must be for them to provide service to EVERYONE and not cherry pick where they can make the most money. The providers should be given the choice between total coverage and not being allowed anywhere.

2 - because cell phones are a public safety issue.

Drive into a tree avoiding a deer on the way home from the mall and see how you like it when your phone reports 'No Service' and you find the doors stuck as smoke begins to roll from the engine compartment.
Consider when your kid's school bus slides off the road in a snow storm and she and several others need immediate medical care, but the bus driver finds they could communicate better with a rock.
Think about what you would do when a train jumps the tracks and the deadly cloud of gasses from the burning tanker cars is rolling through the valley toward your bucolic community and nobody at the scene can get a dial tone.

3 – because these services are no longer a luxury

The need for high speed internet is also no longer a matter of choice. In addition to handicapping school children who don't have the service to do homework, there are medical needs, like monitoring of in-home dialysis and other life threatening conditions.

These are every day occurrences and we have the ability to fix the lack of communications.

4 - because it is foolish to mess with the farmers

Your idea of 'live somewhere else' is idiotic. Much of the land that is less densely inhabited in the rural communities is farmed, so people like you have food. If we don't farm, you don't eat.

We could refuse to sell our farm products until the price gets high enough to be able to pay the companies to bring the services in.
We could set up checkpoints to see if you outsiders have cell phones and charge you for venturing out of your electronic enclaves, so we can pay for our cell phones and internet connections.
Or you high density people can help the situation by demanding that the politicians take the money from the surcharges we all pay and make the companies provide Universal Coverage.

The government legislated the Rural Electrification Admin into existence in 1935 to bring electric power to the less populated areas. That will work with communications infrastructure, too.

Then there's the ARRA funding that we all have to pay for which is supposed to stimulate the economy, available to make the rural folks equal and not second class citizens.

No matter which it will happen, you will be paying for it, too, so since we are sliding rapidly into socialism, shut up and dig deeper into your pockets to share the costs.

May 8, 2009
1:13 p.m.

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w18761 ( w18761 ) says...

I'm outraged at the feeling of entitlement to these services.

I'm outraged that my poorly-spent tax dollars will be used to create subsidies to PUBLICALLY-TRADED, FOR-PROFIT companies in order to extend their service to those for whom extending service would, under normal circumstances, be a very poor business decision as it would not drive profit. I have a really big problem with these large corporations (Qwest, Verizon, AT&T, Time-Warner, Comcast, Charter, etc...) getting a slice of my tax dollars.

May 11, 2009
11:26 a.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

Part 1
w18761 - You have a warped sense of values. There is a long history of government involvement in services that are deemed necessary. As mentioned earlier, the REA extended electric service to the hinterlands and roads are built in less densely populated areas using tax money. This was not done for the profit of corporations, but to serve the people equally.

How long would it take before your opinions changed if a decision were made to leave your area without power and light because it needed new wires and it was decided that it wasn't profitable to replace them? Did you complain that the government declared an emergency after the ice storm in January and provided funding to replace the damaged distribution system or would you have wanted them to leave you in the dark because it was not cost effective to fix them?

I'm sure you like to eat, so what about using roads that are built with tax money, EVERYONE's tax money? How would you get food from the farms to the markets without them?

The Amish prove that electricity is not necessary and farm folk would not suffer from hunger if their produce could not be transported to feed the likes of you, but how well would you fare if the government had not extended the roads? How much food do you produce?

How long would you last if the government had not used tax money to subsidize you? Your water is from a tax subsidized system and I'm sure you wouldn't want to think about where you would go to the bathroom (or what your neighborhood would smell like) without publicly funded sewer systems. Your totally insufficient education came from what is called the Free Public Education system, which is hardly free. It is paid for by the taxes collected from land owners, even ones who have no children to benefit from it. The jails which house the criminals who abound in high population areas, like yours, are paid for people in low crime areas, too. Would you have those costs borne only by the people where the criminals come from?

May 11, 2009
11:28 a.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

Part 2
Your outrage is poorly placed, w18761. The large corporations are not the bad guys. Their profits go to their shareholders, who are pension funds for the workers and individual investors. They go to the employees, who pay the taxes that support the growing segment of society who don't work or pay taxes. Their officers receive large salaries for running large organizations that serve many and rightfully so, because they learned to run those large entities over many years by devoting their lives to the process. Many were involved in creating those companies from nothing and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts; for the lean years before their ideas were proven and they worked long hours without much pay and risked losing everything if their companies failed. How much have you risked?

If you have a problem with how your taxes are used, think about the politicians who pay themselves outrageous salaries and vote themselves fantastic benefits. Congress pays $176,000 to each member and entitles them to pensions after serving just one term. They gleefully spend millions (mostly from contributions) for those jobs, because they know that they will become millionaires through the influence they will be rewarded for by spending your taxes. How much will your government pension (Social Security) pay you? What about the $350 billion they spend on illegal aliens each year or the $20 billion they will spend to relocate members of Hamas to the US or the trillions of tax dollars they are printing to buy some of those corporations you revile?

Aside from the need to provide classroom services, there is a responsibility to provide high speed internet to educate ALL of our children, NOT just those in the cities. There is a need to make access to 911 and emergency responders available to EVERYONE, not just people where it is cost effective.

The people in rural areas deserve the same protection as you do. I was outraged that there was no cell phone service a mere 20 miles from Albany when I moved here from the suburbs and that the cable provider flat out didn’t offer service to my farm. I am 1.6 miles from the end of the cable and the company told me they are not extending it any further. After I inquired about a commercial account, their reply was that I could get hooked up for $20,000! My neighbors were sent a letter offering them residential service if they were willing to pay $2000 each. THAT’s outrageous! And the politicians let them get away with it. And they will continue to allow it as long as morons think it’s alright to treat some taxpayers as second class citizens.

May 11, 2009
7:40 p.m.

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martymefurst ( martymefurst ) says...

Adirondackal, do modern conservatives ever say anything without looking up the facts first? And does everything have to be loaded with such hatred and bitterness? I don't mean that as a personal attack, it seems endemic to conservatism in general. What happened to first rate minds who espoused conservatism, like Buckley or Strauss? Are people like that still around, or did they get drowned out by Fox Noise and any number of creeps and cretins in the blogosphere?

Cable companies own Obama.....riiiiiiight: http://www.opensecrets.org

Conservatives need to get over it, your side lost, you lost big time, it was an epic fail for the record books, and it wasn't because of corporate machinations. 88% of Obama's war chest came from INDIVIDUALS. You know, like every day people who pay bills and such, and who probably don't hide their income in offshore accounts. The conservative world view had it's chance and the people spoke.

May 12, 2009
12:18 a.m.

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Deceived ( Deceived ) says...

marty, your analysis is just a little bit flawed.

1 - your choice of sources leaves much to be desired. The web site you offered is hardly the epitome of independence.

2 - conservatives understand the threat your boy poses to this nation and are scared, not full of hatred.

3 - There are many dedicated conservatives around, but they are overshadowed by losers.

4 - Obama won because the true conservatives refused to vote for McCain AND because of the votes of illegal aliens and the people ACORN helped to vote multiple times.

5 - 88% of the declared contributions may have come from individuals, but the media had been co-opted by George Soros and other behind the scenes entities who bought their cooperation.

6 - Obama won by 8.5 million votes out of 125 million votes cast, hardly an overwhelming victory at 7%.
Not big time and nowhere near epic. Take away the non-citizen votes and it would have been McCain by a nose.

Your boy's dismantling of the safeguards established after Sept 11 is likely to result in new attacks on the US and its interests around the world.

His unbridled spending/money printing spree will cause hyperinflation and the collapse of the economy. Our creditors will not have to invade, the World Court will grant them assets to compensate them for their losses, like Alaska, for its oil reserves or vast sections of our 'breadbasket' to provide them with fertile land to grow food for their people.

Israel will likely attack Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent them from using their weapons on Israel, bringing the US and the Chinese and Russians into a direct confrontation, which Obama will lose because he is not be capable of acting decisively.

His reduction of our military will enable the Chinese and Russians to upset the balance of power that has existed since 1945, resulting in their usurpation of the Middle East's oil.

Conservatism is alive and well and waiting for the court jester to cause his 'blind to the truth' followers to see the errors of their ways. It took the bungling Jimmy Carter to prepare the way for Ronald Reagan's election and the start of a 25 year long prosperity. Obama will do the same for the country, unless members of his own party stop him before he destroys too much.

The wild card in the game are the Clintons and their allegiance to the People's Republic of China's military, which financed Bill's reelection in exchange for nuclear and military secrets.

It's time for you to learn how to say, 'Yes Master' in Mandarin and Russian.

May 12, 2009
8:47 a.m.

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schdygrl ( schdygrl ) says...

Rick- I found your post to be very informative and thought provoking. I don’t agree with all of it, but respect the time and energy you put into writing it. I was very curious as I was reading because at one point, you were pitching socialistic idea’s by explaining how the distribution of tax payer money benefiting society as a whole and sited several examples of how this process works. Then you went into protecting the values of capitalism by justifying how CEO’s make so much money- no matter what the cost to society. Then you went on to complain about a company refusing you service without thousands of dollars. This decision probably came from one of the very CEO’s that you are offering justification for. I find the contradictions in your ideas fascinating and very reflective of myself and today’s society.

May 12, 2009
9 a.m.

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schdygrl ( schdygrl ) says...

Deceived- Wow! Are you a psychic? Or possibly a prophet? Those dooms day predictions are pretty serious.

I think it is hysterical that you commented on Marty’s source, while throwing out unsubstantiated comments and wild future predictions without offering any sources of your own.

May 12, 2009
2:53 p.m.

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annarondac ( annarondac ) says...

As China holds our debt, perhaps the dialect is Cantonese instead of Mandarin. But as Carter made the way for Reagan, Obama will make way for conservatism. As for the phones, land lines are everywhere. Infrastructure usually does not keep up with technological advances in cell phone and broad band, but it eventually will. Progress is sometimes painful, but always patient.

May 12, 2009
9:19 p.m.

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Deceived ( Deceived ) says...

schenectadygirl -

Psychic? No. Prophet?? How about student of history who believes in the adage, "Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them."

The predictions are statements of the obvious -

new attacks? The terrorists see weakness and will take full advantage of it. Reveal how your techniques work and they will no longer be afraid or get caught unawares, like waterboarding or listening to phone conversations that they think are secure. It's just a matter of time. Sources - NYTimes, Wash Post, etc. Documents declassified by Obama in Jan 2009.

Hyperinflation? There is ample history of countries printing too much money and tanking their currency, economies and destroying the savings and investments of the middle class. History books - Weimar Germany after WWI, US during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, in 1933, Hungary 1946, Yugoslavia 1980s, Bolivia 1980s (12000% depreciation of the value of their money in one year), Ukraine in the 1990s, Zimbawe 2006. Also see Wikipedia for some past inflation rates that will scare the crap out of you.

Israel taking out Iran's nuke program? A forgone conclusion. The US won't take the initiative and Israel WILL be nuked when Iran has the bomb. Source - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's own statements, including his address to the UN.

Direct confrontation with Russia and China? Obama's MO is to talk, just like Chamberlain. He couldn't take a stand as a Senator, opting to vote "Present." All mouth and no balls.

Taking the MidEast oil? They manipulated Iraq under Saddam Hussein to get rights to Iraq's oil. China is building naval bases along the shipping lanes betw the Middle East and home to prevent an interruption of their supply. Russia will not allow China to monopolize the resources, so they will take it since there will be nobody to stop them. Sources - Pravda, Xinhua, Financial Times, WSJ.

Clintons and the PRC? Universally reported in 1996. Bill also received millions for his library from the PRC's military!?!?!

May 12, 2009
11:24 p.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

schdygrl - Pt 1

I’m glad I was able to stimulate your consciousness and don’t expect you to agree with everything I write. So far as socialism, let’s follow up on the idea of roads.

Many years ago people who had property often erected toll barriers and collected money from folks who used ‘their’ road. It was eventually decided that the state would control the roads ‘for the public good’ or to collect tolls. Just imagine how life would be if we had a network of private roads and tolls all over the place. Today most roads are ‘free’ except for the landowner, who pays additional taxes based upon how much road frontage they have. The user fees are charged in the form of highway use tax on the gasoline/diesel you use. The state realized that they would lose tax revenues on hybrids and other non-gasoline/diesel vehicles, which is why there is a surcharge on those vehicles and why there is a movement to install GPS devices in all vehicles to get those people who use french fry oil instead of heavily taxed diesel.
There is nothing even close to socialism in their road plans.

The CEO is paid well for their administrative skills. Take Bill Gates and MicroSoft for example. Bill saw the value of a graphic interface to make it easy to operate a computer and established a company to develop (copy) one and market it. He was a geek, but had little marketing experience, so he found someone who could sell it. It became a success and they earned a piece of the profits, as did other members of the company and their stockholders. They made scads of money because people (their customers) saw the value of their product (or had no choice) and bought it. Theirs is an example of free market capitalism. Even if someone developed a better interface, without the marketing skills, they might not get people to buy it and their company would fail.

May 12, 2009
11:26 p.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

Pt 2

The fly in the ointment occurs when the government gets involved. When electricity was new, only places or companies that could generate their own had power. Companies popped up to build the infrastructure to provide service to customers in close proximity to the generators. The government decided that it should be provided far and wide and established authorities, like REA, to wire up the whole country by making low cost loans to the companies. The same was done for the telephone companies. Then came the advent of cell phones and cable networks that provide TV and later, internet. Instead of helping the companies with cheap funds to build their facilities, the government charged companies for licenses to geographic areas, but the stupid politicians allowed them to cherry pick where they would provide service, so they chose to develop the parts of their licenses where they would make a lot and ignore the needs of the potential customers in low density areas. If things were more fair, small companies would appear to service those customers, but the politicians precluded that with their wide ranging licenses.

Since I am in a lessly populated area, I am being discriminated against by the providers and the government, particularly in the case of cell service, for which the government collects a surcharge on my landline phone service. I pay taxes for a service which I cannot use.

This is typical when government gets involved in business. The post office is a government monopoly that can’t even get a letter across town in less than three days. Health care was affordable before the government started Medicare, which pays 80% of the cost of care. Since the medical profession was not going to settle for a cut, they raised costs by 25% to break even. To cut costs, Medicare set caps on what could be charged, so new procedures and tests were added to bring the profits up and universal health care will only make it worse by eliminating competition. Compare that with car insurance, where companies compete for your business with the rates they charge. The nest step will be to ration care, like GB and Canada, where you can be denied surgery for breast cancer or heart disease if you are too old or too fat.

May 12, 2009
11:28 p.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

Pt 3
A large part of the problem is that politicians don’t have any idea how to do things like build cars. They have been making rules about gas mileage and safety for decades and have killed the automotive industry in America. When they started with fuel economy standards, the engineers made the cars lighter and smaller, but the public didn’t want the cheeseboxes that crumpled when hit. Then safety standards were added and the prices soared. Before that, the foreign cars were not wanted, but the US cars were no longer competitive and people bought VWs, Hondas, etc. The foreign manufacturers built new plants and staffed them with non-union labor while our companies had old, inefficient factories and govt rules that protected the unions (since they could provide large blocks of votes), putting them further behind the eight ball.

Now we have the government owning the car companies and deciding what cars they will build, regardless of what you and I want. Soon the big three will be gone.

Our founding fathers carefully defined the duties and responsibilities of government to keep us from these ills, but our politicians think the Constitution and Bill of Rights don’t matter any more. Read those documents and discover how far we have strayed. Give special attention to Article 1 - Legislative Power and Article 2 - Executive Power
Two quick examples -
from the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Nowhere does it suggest a separation of church and state. In fact it says that Congress cannot regulate religion. Period. If your church wants to discuss politics, there is nothing the government can do about it.
From the Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
They realized that the police could not be everywhere, so they provided for the people to organize into groups, like our volunteer firefighters, to train (a well regulated militia) and that it was their right to keep and bear (own and carry) guns and that right shall not be infringed. There is no mention of going hunting or what kinds of guns or licenses or ID stamps on bullets. Simply that they should be capable of keeping the State free.

Sorry if I confused you.

 

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