Landlines in the home are dead…

I could leave it there, but lets recap our points

Technology

Services and Situations that benefit most from traditional landline solutions

  1. Alarm Systems in the home
  2. Panic Lines
  3. Dalliers for vulnerable people
  4. People living in rural areas
  5. People who have fallen out of touch with technology
  6. Any type of monitoring system
  7. Vulnerable people in general

Guidance as it stands

  1. Emergency service calls for 1 hour in the event of a power outage
    • Longer if required for vulnerable individuals
    • If individual is not considered vulnerable, use mobile
    • It is not known how long a mobile mast will last in a power outage, but 1 hour is all that is required by Guidance
    • Increasing the power supply at the residential location may do nothing to provide a longer service, given the way that the power is now required at multiple places in the property and away from the property going forward.
    • Given the way that the power is handled going forward, it must be assumed that in a power cut VoIP landline solutions will not work anyway on the current infrastructure.
    • There is no supporting evidence from Ofcom that 1 hour is sufficient in a power cut for calling emergency services.
    • It is possible to supply at a cost effective rate without requiring on site maintenance, solutions that would last significantly more than one hour, as demonstrated by GSM landline phones, Laptops, tablets etc.
  2. Vulnerable individuals should be offered suitable services at no extra cost
    • This is a common starting notion for Ofcom, but there is no incentive for a provider to do their due diligence, every person they define as “at risk” would potentially result in them offering the service at a loss.
    • Usually, a USO supplement is considered here, where the government will fund some of the cost involved.
  3. It is down to the providers to define the methods of identifying vulnerable individuals
    • No Detailed guidance provided by Ofcom as to the type of questions that should be asked
    • We would have expected Ofcom to have consulted ahead of the consultation with established organisations, such as Age UK, Social Services, Healthcare Providers, Emergency Services etc.
  4. Providers should have a method to ensure that customers are aware of this change
    • This relies heavily on the previous points as to how effective this is.

The general notion of this particular piece from Ofcom is that “Mobiles will work in a power cut anyway”, implying this will last more than 1 hour, this is not true, Ofcom acknowledged that in the last review of this particular topic.

The topic in question being

“Protecting access to emergency organisations when there is a power cut at the customer’s premises”

The consequence of handling this topic badly is going to be loss of life or reduced quality of life.

Solutions

There is no sensible solution that involves a VoIP residential service running over fixed line broadband.

If you have a mobile phone, but poor signal where you live

Get a Mobile Gateway (Like the Vodafone Sure Signal). This will provide the same service as having a VoIP landline solution but at no extra cost to the individual.

If you do not have a mobile phone, but you live in an area with good signal

Get a GSM 3G Desk Phone (looks like a landline phone)

These can work off the mains

Come with something like 3 hours talk time off the mains and a 48 hour stand by battery

This will work over the mobile network.

If you don’t have good indoor signal in your area, or you have limited suppliers, then get a mobile gateway and broadband service as well. In that case, if you do have a power cut and you cannot get signal in doors, you can take the phone outside like it is a mobile.

This will not cost any more than a VoIP solution over broadband, has all the same benefits and the additional benefit that it will carry emergency calls over any available mobile network.

If you require the communication service to work constantly, you need a UPS on site that lasts for a significant amount of time to enable communication i.e. beyond 1 hour of a power cut

Investigate Satellite broadband and a VoIP Solution over that. Or investigate a mobile gateway over Satellite Broadband for additional contingency i.e. if the mobile mast goes down, it can still work over the broadband signal, if the power goes down, the satellite should still work with a sufficient UPS (uninterrupted power supply) solution. If the satellite service fails, it can still work over the mobile service.

What value can be added by a VoIP solution over a fixed line broadband service?

None, if you are considering this, like we say, get a mobile gateway (Like the Vodafone SureSignal) then you get the benefits offered from a SIM card solution

  1. Access to the mobile network of your provider
  2. Access to any mobile network for emergency calls
  3. Voice calls can run over the broadband

What was the benefit of the PSTN landline then? Surely this other technology has been available for some time?

The only benefit that the PSTN landline offered in the home over any other solution was the ability to operate in a power cut. If this network goes (when it goes) there is no benefit to be added in any way shape or form from a VoIP Landline solution in a residential premises.

The only benefit VoIP offers going forward is for business consumers or residential consumers over Satellite Broadband.

Going forward, the vast majority of Residential Consumers should not invest in a VoIP landline solution, you should invest in mobile solutions with associated technology to make the mobile solution work in other scenarios, like the local mast being down or your broadband being down or a power outage.

Like I said

Landlines in the home are dead…

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this article, or at least you will consider some alternatives to VoIP Landline solutions in your home to get some benefits from the services you invest in.

In any case, as far as recommendations go, don’t get a VoIP landline, waste of money, there are better solutions out there and you can implement solutions with mobile technology whilst reducing your costs.

Thanks for reading, links to other sections of the website below.

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Also you can check out some pages in our cyber crime section, a slightly different approach where I tell you how I would do it, then give you a solution.

How I Would Commit Cyber Crime

We also have a petition for the PSTN switch off on this page.

https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-mps-to-ensure-that-we-can-emergency-services-during-a-power-outage?recruiter=836989968&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_petition