Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has decided not to rebuild phone landlines in Mantoloking, N.J., which were destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. Instead, the company has installed Voice Link, a wireless service. Now that 40 percent of homes nationwide use only wireless phones, and only 10 percent have only landlines, Verizon and other communication companies are anxious to get rid of the expense of maintaining the vast copper wire networks that have connected America for a century. A New York Times story by Edward Wyatt reports that the landline may go the way of the telegraph within the next decade. The traditional copper lines that use electric pulses to carry voice and data signals also carry power so that landline phones work during blackouts.
Wireless and fiber optic lines do not carry power so they only work with batteries and often fail in blackouts. Residents also worry about emergency calls and power for medical devices. Read the story here.