Is a Community Phone really a landline replacement?

Telecompetitor reports on a new phone solution for folks who want a landline or maybe more for providers who don’t want to offer that option…

As providers begin to decommission copper networks, startup Community Phone sees an opportunity to cash in by serving people who would prefer not to make any big changes. Telecompetitor talked to Community Phone CEO and founder James Graham to learn more about how the landline replacement service works and who buys it. …

The offering works over a cellular connection but works with an existing landline phone and doesn’t require internet connectivity, Graham explained. The company has agreements with multiple cellular providers and can provide service even in rural areas where people may think cellular doesn’t work, thanks to the company’s antenna design and because service isn’t mobile, he said.

The timing seems serendipitous. I just heard a national provider tell a MN House Committee that 75 percent of their revenue does not come from residential services. The undercurrent I understood to be, we’re losing interest in serving phone and broadband services to rural areas. At a time when recent survey showed 80+ percent of MN homes and businesses with landlines wanted to keep them.

I applaud improvements in technology, and I understand the market wanting landlines is shrinking and the market cutting the cord is growing but it’s called a “lifeline” for a reason and people need to have access, especially in remote areas.

Another hiccup it seems that this new solution requires power. As I recall having access to a phone even during a power outage was one reason people lived landlines.

“They open the box, take it out of the box, plug it into a power outlet and take their phone out of the RJ-11 jack and plug it into our hardware,” he explained.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, Policy, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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