What are the least expensive wallwired landline telephone services? [Telecom]

What are the least expensive wallwired landline telephone services?...

Reply to
the zak
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In what city, in what country, for what calling patterns?

Around here, Verizon will sell you metered service rather cheaply. It's either the least expensive or the most expensive option depending on how much it's used.


Reply to
Scott Dorsey

Similarly, if you've got documentation that you're pretty low income, most telcos offer a "lifeline" service.

It's pretty cheap; in NYC it used to be about $5/month (that's including taxes and non tax taxes and fees..) but again, it's fully metered on all outgoing calls.

Reply to
danny burstein

Unfortunately, all the taxes and "fees" are applied to all classes of service so even the most basic service isn't that cheap. (Thank you, divesture!)

The competing carriers generally are looking for high-end customers so their packages would be more expensive than the cheap ones.

If you are low income you may qualify for special service deals which are pretty cheap, but you must document your status. Offerings vary by state and and area.

Since many people today also own cell phones, they often simply don't bother with a land line at all and use their cell phone for all calls. Of course, if their cell phone is mislaid, being charged, broken, out of range, overloaded, they are out of luck.

***** Moderator's Note *****

Since cell phones can't be depended on in an emergency, communities that abandon too many of their landlines face a hidden cost: the insurance danger ratings for the area go up and so do the insurance rates.

This is compounded by the fact that many municipalities have ripped out their "old fashioned" Gamewell fire alarm boxes, favoring 911 centers to reduce false alarms. Without the Gamewell fire alarms, the fire danger rating goes up more as landlines are abandoned.

Bill Horne Temporary Moderator

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It's got little to do with divestiture, but much more to do with politicians (and their business friends) who keep looking for sources of revenue, but don't want to be honest and call them taxes.

Tell me again why the "911 surcharge" exists? Leaving aside the games many localities play with that money, shouldn't the local PSAP (911 center) be paid for out of general tax revenue, just like the cops themselves?

Or the "Universal Service Fund" (which is about to go up yet again). That money (and again, leaving the games aside) goes into a federal pot and gets kicked over, in part, to libraries and schools and rural hospitals to help them with telecommunications.

Shouldn't that be general tax revenue? Or if you'd prefer to use that as a "good idea", well, then why not have similar surcharges for your home's heating fuel so as to pay for the school's boiler?

Reply to
danny burstein

Danny, Danny, Danny. Don't be giving the politicians ideas. How can we begrudge the "poor and downtrodden" fees that your schools and libraries fall into? Geeze, next thing you know, with landlines shrinking, they'll figure out that VoIP and cell phones should have to pony up USF fees.

Boiler tax indeed :-)


Reply to
Carl Navarro

Some of the fees, like the "FCC line charge" look like govt taxes but actually are collected and kept by the carrier, and these fees aren't cheap these days.

Those fees were developed to make up the money local exchanges lost from long distance rebates and premium services. They gave with one hand (cheap long distance and equipment) and took with the other hand (higher local line charge).

Actually, in the distant past some work of emergency call handling was done by the Bell Operator at their expense. In the old days we all were instructed to dial Operator in case of emergency. That is, in an emergency you could dial the operator and say "I need police at 1234 Main Street Hurry!" then hang up and the operator would then call the police and pass along the message. There were of course direct numbers to fire/police/rescue, but the operators were there as a last resort. Indeed, years back the Bell System boasted about operators helping in such situations saving lives, etc.

But I agree that public safety money, not phone taxes, should be used for 911 centers. Do VOIP/cable subscribers even get charged these taxes?

That is directly from divesture. Before divesture certain organizations would get discounts, paid for by premium expenses. Remember, many PUC members were against divesture since they recognized the premiums paid by long distance and business subscribers helped cross subsidize low rate public services. PUCs were big on averaging out high cost service (like a farmer with a long loop) against low cost (like a multi-line business 3 blocks away from the CO using high capacity lines to carry all the trunks).

Actually, a heck of a lot of commodities are taxed like that. My municipality takes on a "franchise fee" to cable TV service, for instance.

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Years ago Los Angeles had a city wide emergency number; 116, they would advertise it as If Your in a fix dial 116, that was many years before

911, it went to an emergency control center of some kind

My Cell bill comes with the High cost Tax on it. Our city tried to add a city utility tax to cell phones, it caused a fire storm and they dropped it. I don't use mioe in the city, at least at the time they wanted to add the tax I did not.

Reply to
Steven Lichter

Umm, my Vonage service does include an FUSF charge. My $24.95 a month plan is more like $32 a month when all the taxes and fees are added in.

It's still cheaper than Verizon, if I had the same level of service with them I'd be paying about $80 a month which is what I pay now for my net and phone services.

My Verizon bill for the raft of features (CLID, VM, CW-CLID) was $47 a month for unlimited local service, and then I had to PIC my long distance service. I had it assigned to NetworkPlus. That bill came in at an average of $20 per month so I was paying a total of $67 a month just for voice services. Add to that the $40 a month I was paying for broadband access to Cox and it was $107 a month.

I told Cox to change my broadband service to the top tier at $50 a month and as I said my Vonage bill with taxes and all averages $32 per month. So $82 a month vs. $107 a month.

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