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Re: Getting rid of land line?

 > One obvious answer is "911".  It's not clear that this is or can ever 
> be reliable with cell phones.  Finding horor stories online with cell 
> phones, VOiP pseudo-phones and services like skype  is  pretty  easy. 
> Unlike  some  people, we're not getting any younger, and there's some 
> value to this sort of "ambulance insurance", though it's not clear to 
> us that the price is right. 

911 works with any phone, if you can croak out the address, but 
Enhanced 911 where the address (and prior history) of the address pops 
up on the dispatcher's screen as they answer is tied to wireline.  In 
the old days, 911 could run the phone number and get an address, but 
with number portability, they need E911 to know if it's still there ! 

On E911 console, 1st & 2nd generation  cellphones have the address of 
the tower. That will be close enough to see the fire when the house is 
fully involved and they're only saving the neighbors.  Cellphones are 
being required to add either GPS or triangulation to their networks. 
Triangulation requires investing in non-revenue equipment in the 
towers, while GPS allows them to "require" handset upgrades and offer 
value-add-cost-add services. Triangulation works indoors, GPS can only 
report where it last was outdoors. If your garage is closer to the 
house than 90 seconds walk, will the GPS get a good spot as you walk 
in?   Which did the vast majority of cellphone co's prefer?  If you 
can extricate yourself from the car crash, or you have a fiberglass 
car, the GPS may be sufficient. I know where on the dashboard my GPS 
works, and in my pocket isn't one of them.  I do not want my cellphone 
sending help as I gasp into it where I last was outdoors long enough 
for cell lock. 

VoiP providers are required to correctly relay correct street address. 
Address transmission does not seem to be as reliable, and in fact can 
be easily spoofed. Like fancy radio shack phones, VOIP only works as 
long as your UPS holds out, and relies on a service vendor who may not 
have quite as much investment in batter racks as Verizon. Unlike 
copper last mile, glass fiber intrinsically requires power at 
subscriber site -- with an old dumb phone with a passive filter on an 
aDSL line, I have E911 and yell-at-Power-Co capability during power 
outtages, even after my UPS gives out.. 

If you're getting older -- it beats the alternative --  keep the 
copper line, don't go FIOS (they cut and recycle your copper) or pure 
cellphone. You can use it later for AmbulanceAlert panic button (you 
want that to work on internal battery backup after the UPS has 
dropped!) and burglar alarm. You can even have  DSL slow broadband if 
you want to cut costs. 

The irony is that one of the drivers of people away from wireline is 
the "universal access subsidy fee" being charged to those who can 
afford it to allow subsidizing wireline access for E911 for the poor. 
But I don't see a mandate for offering unbundled E911 + local calling 
wireline only to the non-poor coming anytime soon. 

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