Cellphone network failure spotlights importance of keeping landline telephones

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The day-long nationwide failure of Rogers Communications' cellphone network on October 9th brought into focus the importance of access to a plain old landline telephone in the case of emergencies.
When a software glitch caused a widespread outage for Rogers customers across Canada, even Rogers themselves urged their customers to locate someone with a dependable landline in case they needed to make an emergency call.
Increasingly, Canadians are dropping their landlines in favour of using cellphones for their day-to-day communications. During the Rogers outage, which affected some 10 million subscribers, municipalities and health care organizations quickly recognized the dilemma of the public not being able to report critical situations, and swiftly communicated via Twitter that affected customers should "find a landline."
But with the growing popularity of ditching the landline, cellphone users have become wholly dependent on the integrity of their carrier's network. As this nationwide outage demonstrated, cellphone networks can fail.
Most independent telephone providers, such as WTC, have recognized the shift towards home cellphone use, and in response, have crafted cost-effective packages incorporating a traditional landline at a reasonable price. "The plain, old-fashioned landline still has its place," says WTC Communications President Steve Lynn. "During power outages, ice storms, or even in situations like the Rogers network failure, the technology that is the backbone of the traditional phone system continues to function." Lynn notes that while some consumers may see a home landline as needless duplication with their cellphone, the stability and proven dependability of the traditional landline telephone system offers an extra layer of security in the case of emergency. "Simply knowing that the landline is there--and will be there when you need it--is well worth the few dollars a month," he said.