?????, I got transfered out there in the spring of '70.
I live in Calgary AB, and I can count power outages with my one hand
since. Longest was ~30 minutes once when grass fire knocked off pole
carrying main line for the neighborhood. Others few minutes or just a
blink. How come power is so unreliable down there? Utility wires are all
underground in my neighborhood.
Many reasons. Lack of infastructure, environmental concerns, unexpected
growth, silly political decisions.
I live, fortunately, in Texas which is not connected to the national grid. A
zombie infestation in New Jersey or a jellyfish flood in San Diego cannot
Connecting to the grid means nothing. All it takes is a utility that
thinks beyond harbor freight class designs. Our local utility belongs to
the PJM interconnect and also generates more energy than it uses. After
a few blackouts ago they designed our interconnect ties so that when all
of the other outfits go down like dominoes they disconnect us. There is
a great night satellite shot after the last big blackout where NYC, NY,
NJ and Ohio were dark and we were still lit up.
Exactly. And all the 'services' that telephone users used to take for
granted, such as being listed in a telephone book/directory, service
during power failures, free maintenance calls, free wiring in your
home, direct 911, 611 and 411 lines to Emergency, Repair, and
Directory back in the bad old non-competition days are gone.
These days your are on your own in a sort of 'Batteries not included'
way. Hook it up and fix it yourself!
Fortunately the basic networks and telephone numbering plan areas are
still there, like a road sytem; even though the type of vehicles (And
maybe the type of fuel that powers them! is changing! .
Ain't competition wonderful?.
As I said before, keeping your land-line and paying 25 bucks are not
necessarily connected. ATT WILL reduce your monthly charge - you have but to
ATT knows that tens of thousands of people are switching to VOIP or cell
phones every day. Twelve dollars a month from you is better than no dollars
a month from you.
Look into BigRedWire (www.bigredwire.com). We've been using them for several
years now for both domestic and international long distance service. They save
money by doing 100% of their business on the web (your monthly statements are
always available on-line), and not having either telephone or snail mail for
customer service, but are quite responsive to e-mail. We've found their
connection quality and service to be faultless and their rates to be excellent.
Our basic telephone charge is quite reasonable. What runs up the bill are
the various taxes and charges put in by the government.
For example, we have the "911" fee. We have a fee to pay for the operators
who "translate" voice to TTY for deaf folks. We have local utility tax.
We have the "universal service fee." We have a fee to pay for the system
that lets VOIP folks have any area code they want (number portability.)
VOIP is Voice Over Internet Protocol. Magic Jack is a specific
implementation. If you have high speed internet your ISP should have
already tried to sell you on giving up your land line so I suspect you don't
have high speed internet.
USF is one of my pet peeves. I border on what used to be rural area but
not any more. The local phone company is Frontier and they get boxes of
USF money to help them serve the "farmers". And to top it off no
competition is allowed. I ported our number to a VoIP carrier quite some
time ago. I mentioned it to one of my friends who lives in the "rural"
area and was surprised when I tried to order a port. No other carriers
are allowed to compete in "rural" areas.
Number portability has nothing to do with what you described. It means
that you are allowed to keep your number if you move to a different
I have verizon DSL. I called aobut something and after that was done,
she tried to sell me FIOS. I said it was too expensive. She said we
have an introductory rate for 3 months. I said, What good does 3
months do me? After that it's too expensive. I finally made her
laugh and admit it was too expensive.
ActionTec modem blowing up after the first week. And the
initial billings took about 6 months to get straightened out. Ever since
it has been rather good.
We don't much use all the phone service we're entitled to, and the TV
still has almost no channels worth watching. However, all the baseball
and football you might want (I think).
My new "subscription" will not change in price for 2 years, but I have
"only" a 1 year commitment.
I found a similar savings using Ooma. Like many I use my cellphone for
nearly everything but still wanted a home phone. With Ooma you pay a one
time fee then nothing.
A feature I really enjoy is the multi-ring service. Simply any call to
the home also rings on my cellphone. Sure is handy when you are waiting
on a delivery call and need to run errands. Plus the cellphone is set to
forward calls to the home number if I don't answer in 6 rings. The two
together means I can shut one off and still get the incoming calls. Neat.
You might investigate Google Phone. Free. You get a number. Thereafter any
calls to that number are routed to one or more other phone numbers, which
you can change at will. Sort of number portability. It has other features,
I have a magicJack and a VOIP service from http://www.viatalk.com /
I don't recommend the magicJack for regular phone service but it's
a good supplement to any phone service and for $20.00 a year it's
quite useful. My magicJack died but I still keep the number for
something to give anyone who may give the number out to a telemarketer
or collection agency. The voice-mail messages are Emailed to me and
I don't have to worry about being disturbed by pests. A magicJack
requires a computer to be on and connected to a high speed service
if you wish to make and receive calls, voice-mail is remote/web based.
My ViaTalk uses a stand alone adapter plugged into my router and gives
me two phone lines with one number. One of the lines can be provisioned
as a fax line.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.