Deathwatch: Landlines

Mobile_phone_holiday_beach_GUIDE_01 Remember in the olden days when, instead of ringing an actual person, you had to wait for them to be in a building and then ring that? What a ridiculous system that was.

Well, thanks to this, it looks like the home phone landline is dead. We all knew this, but now there's a study to back us up. The study showed that a lot of people don't even know their own landline number (and the Mirror put it to the test by offering £50 to those that could).

Broadband providers Relish conducted some research it they found that 38% of us have no idea what our home phone number is and that half of us only have one because our broadband providers make us have one.

Will Harnden, chief marketing officer at Relish, said: "It's a sign of modern times that our landlines are increasingly going unused. Despite the fact that many people aren't using their landline for its intended purpose, they are forced to pay monthly charges for line rental, on top of the cost of their broadband."

"It seems like now is the time the capital can finally wave goodbye to the landline."

Of course, we can't wave goodbye to them completely - businesses aren't going to start giving staff members mobiles instead of banks of telephones. At home, the landline is becoming increasingly pointless. 4 in 10 of us won't even answer the landline phone if it rings. People who ring landlines are either after money or mithering you for hours on end.

Social networks, as well as Skype and good ol' fashioned texting are the most common ways of communicating and 65% of adults already think of landlines as a thing of the past. Naturally, people still leave the house and talk at people's earholes, but that's the standard and never going to go away, despite what desperate old lunatics say.

What this all means is that broadband providers need to modernise the packages they sell to customers. Landlines are all but obsolete. We await the rebranding of 'line rental' to something more internet based for Ver Kidz.


  • Mr M.
    Landlines will never die because it's needed for broadband. It's a massive earner for all the companies.
  • Victor M.
    If anyone wants to speak to me, they can wait until I get home. I don't want to be pestered in the street. Anyway, landlines are cheaper than mobiles.
  • Alex
    Is it really a massive earner? If people aren't actually using it, then it's just shifting the cost of broadband by having a higher line rental.
  • patrick
    There's no technical reason for having a landline phone number with broadband connections. It's just BT insisting that we keep paying land line contracts in order to subsidise their huge profits. In other countries you can have phone line based broadband (ADSL) without a landline number, but BT fiercely resist any change to their monopoly (BT still profit even if you're paying a third party like Sky for your line rental).
  • patrick
    The technical name for broadband over phone line without a phone number/dial tone is "naked DSL". It appears that the UK is one of the few Western countries not offering naked DSL - purely because of BT's monopoly and political maneuvering. Virgin allow broadband only but that is via coax cable, not a phone line. See the Wikipedia article on it ..
  • Sawyer
    I see this study is being published by Relish, the broadband providers who I would sign up with in an instant if they ever expand their network out of two streets in Central London. Less money on studies, more on actually providing us with an alternative to landlines, thanks.
  • Unhappy M.
    I have broadband without a phone line.
  • Han S.
    Literally no purpose to these statements beyond lame attempts to flog their flawed product.
  • No c.
    That means that I wont be getting my daily harassment of PPI calls?
  • Mr M.
    @ Unhappy Man If it's in the UK tell us the provider.
  • Tightwad
    @ Victor Meldrew You may not believe this but my landline is 3 times the price of my mobile contract (£17 from BT compared with £5 a month from Virgin Mobile). The landline also gives bugger all in terms of free calls, minutes, data allowances.
  • Slacker
    > That means that I wont be getting my daily harassment of PPI calls? I no longer have a mobile & now rely entirely on the landline. I got rid of all these overseas call centre dickheads with a £23 call blocker unit - job done!
  • reginald
    I cant wait for the day to see BT in deathwatch. Very soon I hope.

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