What’s a Landline, Professor?

by on February 15, 2005 · 2 comments

On Capitol Hill and at the FCC’s headquarters in SW Washington, a debate is still going on as to whether cell phones are a substitute for old-fashioned landline service. But at American University in NW Washington that debate is just about over: the university has announced that there would be no landlines in dorm rooms starting this fall. The Washington Post has a good story on this, detailing the triumph of wireless at AU and other college campuses around the country. AU’s experience also says a lot about why AT&T and MCI are being folded up. According the the Post story, while AU made hundreds of thousands on long-distance service five years ago, the school last semester made… $1,109.

  • matt

    i have a few thoughts on this issue that have been rattling around in my head for quite some time. first, i did “cut the cord” (as the kids are calling it) about three years ago, and have not regretted that decision for one moment. actually, doing that had one big upside which was that i received no more telemarketing calls, beat the do-not-call list by a few years. my second thought is that now a cell phone doesn’t need to be just a replacement for a land line, it can offer many more capabilities that were just not available with a traditional land line and phone. the third thought on this is a quote i remember Arthur C. Clarke once said, he made the point that the real boom in personal communications will occur when the price of a call across the street is the same as a call across the country. he compared it to the change from the postal service from a sliding scale depending on distance to a standard flat cost, after which the postal service became much more widely used.

  • matt

    i have a few thoughts on this issue that have been rattling around in my head for quite some time. first, i did “cut the cord” (as the kids are calling it) about three years ago, and have not regretted that decision for one moment. actually, doing that had one big upside which was that i received no more telemarketing calls, beat the do-not-call list by a few years. my second thought is that now a cell phone doesn’t need to be just a replacement for a land line, it can offer many more capabilities that were just not available with a traditional land line and phone. the third thought on this is a quote i remember Arthur C. Clarke once said, he made the point that the real boom in personal communications will occur when the price of a call across the street is the same as a call across the country. he compared it to the change from the postal service from a sliding scale depending on distance to a standard flat cost, after which the postal service became much more widely used.

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