Keep a landline for peace of mind!
Despite improvements to the cell tower grid, mobile phones are still not nearly as reliable as landlines, especially in rural areas. That’s why NHTC urges residents to stick with at least a basic landline connection.
Here are some things to consider:
- Address data for landline phones is already programmed into the 911 system and pops up for dispatchers to see whenever a call comes in. That’s not the case with cell phones.
- For most cell phones, the 911 system uses a process called triangulation where the signal from the phone is traced through nearby towers to try and get an approximate location of the caller. So far, the process is inconsistent. Emergency responders then have to search an area for the caller.
- The address database can also help in the event of an emergency if children, babysitters or other guests need to call 911, but do not know the address.
- Wind can also damage towers leaving a cell phone — even a charged one — without service.
- Landline networks can handle massive call demands. Often, when many wireless phone users are trying to make calls at the same time in the same area, wireless networks cannot handle the heavy call loads and users are greeted with an “all circuits are busy” message.
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