I recently read an article on CNET discussing how Google wants to revive the use of landline phones. Ummm… ok. But… why? Landlines are an endangered species, and Google is advertising there Google Fiber landline option as though they are on some mission to save the home phone service from extinction. Nice try.
Google revealed a new Fiber Phone service that will be offered to a few US markets and then expanded later to other cities where they offer high-speed internet for $10 per month.It can be used from any computer, phone or tablet as it operates as a cloud-based phone number.
It’s currently being offered in certain parts of the country where Google Fiber is available. As you can see by the map above, there currently aren’t many Google Fiber supported areas in most parts of the country, so I’m not even sure when it will become more widespread or if it will actually expand nationwide. That remains to be seen.
But, from my viewpoint, I don’t see a point in consumers buying into this $10 a month landline feature when they can use their current phone service over the Google Fiber data they will already be paying for. Why would consumers be willing to make the switch in terms of landline service in an increasingly mobile world? Unless they are marketing to our senior citizen segment who treasure and value landlines as their lifelines, it doesn’t add much value to their existing services.
Keep in mind what Google is offering isn’t even a true land line, just a landline service. You’ll still need a traditional plug in a phone jack phone, therefore, those that don’t have a landline phone would have to go out and buy one, and I don’t see that happening in most cases. In addition, if there is inclement weather, it’s going to go out when the power goes out or when your internet is down, therefore how does this beat people solely sticking to their mobile devices in these potential emergency situations?
For these reasons, it’s difficult for me to really see the value in this service as it relates to keeping or getting a landline. I’m just not connecting the dots on how this would make people use their landlines more. Even friends of mine with landlines through Comcast service bundles barely use their home phones. They just get the bundles because getting the landline phone included in their bundle offer made for a cheaper package; however, they still rarely used their landline.
Mobile phones are still the future and I still think landlines are a dying breed, andI doubt the result of this service will cause a huge uprising in home phone service. Google wants to make having a landline easy and affordable, but it’s a new generation, and many people are okay just using their cellphones. Who wants to pay an additional $10 on top of what they already pay for their cellphone? Not me. It personally wouldn’t serve as a huge benefit for me.
When I had a landline however many years ago, and I began to use my cellphone more and more, it just sat there, literally collecting dust, and hardly ever rang, and when it did, it was most likely a telemarketer, therefore I never picked it up. I was increasingly not home, always on the go, and everyone had my mobile number, so I never felt chained to the house waiting for a phone call. Also as time went on and texting and social media platforms became more popular, people had more ways to get in contact with me apart from calling. Consequently, I got rid of my landline because there was no longer a need for it, and there still hasn’t been a need for it as technology continues to make great strides. I could probably bet if I got a landline now, it’s still not going to ring. If your friends, family or employer have your mobile phone number, chances are they’re going to use that number to contact you.
I also thought about the small business aspect as well, however, currently Google Fiber landline option’s primary target is focused more on individual and/or family residences as opposed to commercial locations hosting small businesses. I think if anything they should maybe work to advertise this as a bundle deal to small businesses in areas where Google Fiber is supported. This way businesses who are willing to make the switch to Google Fiber can utilize the fast internet service and switch there landlines service over to the Google Fiber landline option.
I don’t know. We live in an age where cellphone use and other digital alternatives are expanding, and I find it difficult to see the value at this stage in the game in Google adding a landline option to their Fiber service. What are your thoughts on this?