So I wake up one day, and attempt to make a phone call on my “landline,” only to find that I’m not getting a dial tone. Now my home phone is actually one of those VoIP systems, presently from ITP of New York City, which offers “Premium Unlimited” service for $19.99 per month plus taxes and other fees.
Typical of most VoIP systems, you get a special adapter that connects to your cable/DSL modem or your router, thus using your Internet connection to provide telephone service. Unlike POTS, the plain old telephone service, it’s not a hard wired system, and depends on the quality of your online hookup to give you usable performance. If your Internet goes down — or you have a power outage — your phone service dies with it.
Now most VoIP services that I know about also offer a fallover feature. So if your connection is offline for any reason, calls are forwarded to an emergency number you specify, which is probably your mobile phone. Even though many of you rely strictly on your wireless phone, I won’t until audio quality is more consistent and the caller is no longer lost in a digital haze. I might then consider buying one of those desk phones that extends a cell phone connection, but not yet.