Here is a sign of the times: one town in New Jersey is converting to all wireless telephone service.
Hurricane Sandy destroyed many of the telephone lines and hardware all around the town. The cost of purchasing new copper wire, new hardware, and the labor to install all the new equipment is in the millions of dollars. Instead, Verizon realized it would be much cheaper to provide wireless telephone service to everyone. The new Verizon Voice Link service will connect each home's wired and cordless telephones to the Verizon Wireless network. There will be no copper wires running from telephone pole to pole.
This concept isn't new; many third-world countries never had much traditional telephone service. After the introduction of low-cost cellular phones, most cities and small towns in third-world countries erected cell towers instead of telephone poles. Going all cellular is cheaper than wiring neighborhoods with expensive copper wires.
One of the major reasons that the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Japan, and a number of other countries have continued to use wired telephones is because the financial investments required for wired telephones were made years ago. Continued use of existing wires is cheaper than erecting new wireless towers. However, as Verizon has recently learned in New Jersey, when the wires are no longer available for some reason, the investment required suddenly changes.
Verizon customers in Mantoloking can continue to use the same telephones in their homes that they have always used, wired and cordless alike. The one difference is that these existing phones will not connect to wires that lead to telephone poles in the street. Instead, each house's phones will connect to a small box with an antenna installed in the home. The box plugs into an electrical socket and a telephone jack, which powers all the telephone jacks in the house. The device also accepts AA batteries or has a rechargeable battery pack if there is a power outage. Three AA batteries provide 36 hours of standby time. If the power outage lasts for more than 36 hours, the home owner can insert standard AA batteries for use until the power is restored.
The Verizon Voice Link service includes unlimited nationwide calling and emergency 911 service. Other features such as Caller ID and voice mail also are available. Installation is free and the prices are set at or below what the customer was paying previously for wired service, Verizon said.
Tom Maguire, Senior Vice-President of Verizon, said that this new service was not created just for Mantoloking. In fact, Verizon has been planning to introduce the new wireless service in many places where old telephone wiring and equipment has been deteriorating. Also, Maguire stated that the market for traditional telephone service is shrinking. Verizon expects to introduce the new wireless technology into more and more markets in the future.
You can read more in the Asbury Park Press at http://goo.gl/sGmA1.