As most residents know, Wynmoor requires each unit to have a  landline telephone in order for the fire alarms to work.  There are frequent reminders from Wynmoor management that telephone services such as U-Verse and Vonage are not compatible with the fire alarm system.

But times they are a-changing. Telephone companies don’t want your stand-alone plain old landline service anymore.  They want to move your telephone line onto the same high-speed fiber-optic network that carries the Internet.  Companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. have all indicated that they expect to completely phase-out of landline service in five years in favor of an Internet-based service.

If this information provokes you to ask “just what is a landline anyway?”,  the answer is simple.  A landline is a copper wire that connects your phone to the phone company’s Central Office which is where the process of routing a phone call begins.

So why would the telephone companies want to stop providing landlines? Simply put – cost and revenue.  The equipment to run a landline network is far more expensive to purchase and maintain than an Internet-based network that runs on fiber optic cables and uses computers for routing.   And from a revenue standpoint, an Internet-based system will allow the phone company to offer television and Internet services without any additional wiring into the home.

The tide has turned.  The train has left the station.  Goodbye copper cables.  Goodbye landlines.

So the editorial staff here at are wondering how Wynmoor is preparing for a future without landline service.   We have, at most, a five-year window to transition our emergency systems off landlines.  Five years will probably be just enough time to research options, create necessary RFPs for engineering and implementation and install and test a new system.   But the longer we wait, the more expensive it will be to make the necessary conversions.

Most senior communities have been able to upgrade their landline-based security systems to work with the new Internet-based services. Transitioning our security system to work with on an Internet platform will allow Wynmoor to build a state-of-the-art emergency alarm system that can also incorporate security cameras and medical alarms.

It is more than likely that among our 9,000 or so residents, there is an engineer who has professional experience designing or implementing IP telecommunication platforms.

If you would like to know more about the future of landlines, these two articles may be helpful:

1). From Techhive, March 20, 2013
2). From SFGate, July 22, 2013:

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