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Dethroning the 'Princess' forever
Written by Jack Dominic   
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:44 PM

When we think of new phone technology, most of us think about the newest smart phone models and the circus-like press announcements from the likes of Apple or Samsung that entice us to upgrade.

The lowly wired phones that still are found in most homes have for the most part not changed in decades.

We may have dumped that pink Princes phone for a cordless model with caller ID and a digital answering device but we still pay Ma Bell about 50 bucks a month for a wired line.

Over the years cable companies have offered digital services that use the Internet rather than the wired phone network to provide home or business phone service.

I have written in the past about magicJack, an Internet based phone system for the home. There is another option being marketed by Verizon, AT&T and some other cellular providers. They all use the same technology.

The Verizon service is called Home Phone Connect and instead of using the wired telephone network, it uses the cellular network. While the service is not for everyone, it can save substantial money over traditional land line service.

The system requires the purchase or the monthly rental of a small device that is easily connected to the existing phone wires in your house.

The phones can be regular hard wired extensions or cordless phones.  Any phone now working in your home can be used with the new system.  You can keep your current home telephone number.

When you cancel your existing service you have your number ported to the new Verizon wireless number.

The cost for this service begins at about $20 per month so it is less expensive than most traditional land line home phone services.

Before you make the switch you need to know that there are some drawbacks to going with a cellular service for your home or small business.  You can’t use a fax or credit card terminal with this service.

Some emergency notification services like those for the elderly or disabled are not supported.  Home security alarms also can’t be connected to the system. And of course you must get a good signal from the Verizon cellular network.

This is only one option you might consider.  Next week we will look at a device that connects your existing mobile phone to all your home wired phones.

Jack Dominic a Harrison Twp. resident, is VP at CET, Cincinnati’s Public Television station, a pioneer in broadcasting and online video services. You can contact him at jdominic@cetconnect.org or read previous columns at http://www.jackatcet.blogspot.com.