Business and Communities Can Keep their Landlines After the Cord is Cut
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Community Phone, a leader in transforming the communications industry by offering an easy and affordable solution to traditional wired landline service, is excited to announce its expansion into Florida.
The move provides residents and businesses in the Sunshine State with an affordable and convenient option for keeping their landlines in advance of FCC 19-72, which removed the requirement that telecom service providers offer “analog voice-grade copper loops” on an unbundled basis at regulated rates.
“Florida’s largest telephone providers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and many others have made it clear they are replacing their copper wire infrastructure with internet-based fiber optic cables and leaving old fashioned landlines in the dust,” said Community Phone CEO James Graham, “This migration can be disruptive in the worst possible way for seniors, businesses and many homeowners who rely on landline phone service.”
While this shift saves money for providers, it is difficult for consumers to find a provider continuing to offer all the features one needs. That’s where Community Phone comes in.
Graham added, “After decades of tightly regulating phone companies to keep telephony rates reasonable and reliable, the FCC no longer sees any reason to require carriers to continue offering copper-wire service. As landline usage declines, rates are increasing, which is why we created a phone service that allows people and businesses needing landlines to get ahead of the curve.”
While much of Florida is now making calls through cell phones and internet providers, it is important to realize that the landline is still a lifeline for many, particularly seniors. Seniors aren’t alone in this battle. According to a 2021 FCC study, over 800,000 Florida residents lack broadband access. 6% of Florida’s residents don’t have adequate broadband infrastructure, and 51.1% live in areas that have only one internet provider, limiting their internet-based landline options. Without a landline, they have no easy way to connect to family, friends, doctors, and care providers. For these seniors and families, landlines aren’t “burdensome” and “outdated”; they are a critical service.
Small businesses in rural areas are facing the same challenge. Florida currently ranks 7th among states in BroadbandNow’s 2023 rankings of internet coverage, speed, and availability. Rolling blackouts have also impacted business, with Florida leading the nation in most blackouts per capita. As was seen in 2022 with Hurricane Ian, Florida’s mobile phone networks were able to restore service faster than traditional landline service – a trend that is unlikely to change.
For example, in Fort Myers and one of the hardest-hit areas — more than 65 percent of the cell sites in the county were offline the day after the storm. But just over a week later, that number was down to less than 6 percent.
Most businesses shift to VoIP when copper wire service ends, but that’s not an option for those businesses without broadband. Cell phones aren’t ideal for businesses’ main lines since they can get lost or stolen. A landline is often the best option for brick-and-mortar businesses that need dedicated lines to customers.
With more than 100 million landlines in the US and approximately 1.6 million in Florida, Community Phone provides an alternative that’s affordable, seamless and non-intrusive.
Unlike other providers, Community Phone’s landline phone service offers a wide range of essential features for those who rely on their telephone service for business or personal reasons. With this expansion, Community Phone is making it easier than ever for people to make the switch and save money.
With Community Phone, customers can plug most landline phones into the provided base. The base plugs into a typical power outlet and uses cell phone technology without needing a cell phone contract. There is also added peace of mind for seniors and small businesses since the phone keeps working with battery backup in case of a power outage when the internet can go down. Customers can also keep their phone number, something important to many older adults who have had the same number for decades.
Founded in 2018, Community Phone has been successful in states like Texas, Massachusetts and Wisconsin in offering features that homes and businesses need.
About Community Phone
Community Phone provides simple, reliable landline phone service for homes and businesses that does not require internet or a cell phone contract, and works during power outages.
Community Phone’s phone service is powered by a landline base that connects a home or business’ landline phone to cell towers in the area. Users simply plug the device into an outlet, plug the phone into the base, and enjoy unlimited local and long distance calls in the US. For more information on how Community Phone works and gives users control of their phone line, visit CommunityPhone.org.
Paul Wilke on behalf of Community Phone