Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dropping the Bell

I'd love to drop our land-line telephone service (Qwest aka our local Ma-Bell).

We've both have had cell phones for the past 2 years and have yet to use 45 minutes a month. They provide us with free long distance, free voice mail, etc.

So what's the snag. . .

1) the wife won't let go her security phobia of having a traditional conventional hook-to-wall telephone. OK,. . . when lightning blows out the power throughout the city, the battery backup of traditional phone companies keeps the lines up. Do cell phone towers have generators / batteries??

2) Our current Internet service is DSL, our own ISP choice, but service by Qwest landline. The Problem? No real alternatives yet. Our only choice is telephone wires or cable tv wires. Both are a monopoly because there's only one set going down the street. It's like the old falicy that you have a choice of who you buy your electricity from. There's not twelve sets of lines running down each street. Solution: Waiting for Clearwire to come to Portland and do internet by cell tower. Just hope Clearwire isn't being swallowed up by the big boys who'll raise prices.

3) Lastly, for the last 2 years the T-Mobile reception in our house has been lousy, maybe one bar. We have a stucco house with two layers of stucco. That's nearly 2 inches of concrete and two layers of wire mesh covering the house. A fairly effective signal block. Two weeks ago a power pole on Glisan street was replaced with a combo power pole cell antenna. Who owns it and whether it's a true cell tower or just some sort of signal booster (the antennas are very close together, not like a traditional tower) I don't know. Anyway, suddenly my cell phone shows 6 bars inside the house! Excellent. . .

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