Another $38.60 (per month) bill for my land line, which I barely use. That’s made up of:
- line rental $22.95
- 17 local calls $5.10
- calls to mobiles $1.62
- silent line $2.93
- caller ID $6.00
Almost all of the cost ($31.88) is in the line itself, rather than the calls.
My sister’s recently gone down the route of not having a land line at all; just mobile. I’m not sure I want to do that just yet, particularly as lengthy local calls to family could get very expensive.
VOIP has come a long way in recent years, and could be an option. Naked DSL (which is available in my area) along with an ISP VOIP plan could turn out to be substantially cheaper.
It appears my current Netgear DG384G version 5 modem/router doesn’t support VOIP, so it looks like I’d either need an ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter, about $60) or a new modem/router than supports VOIP (about $100).
But (taking the offerings from iiNet/Netspace as an example, since that’s my current ISP, and I’m pretty happy with them) it’s then monthly costs of $9.95. With the usage above, 17 local calls at 15 cents = $2.55, assume the mobile call would be the same cost. Unlike with a conventional phone, you don’t get a White Pages listing unless you opt in (rather than paying $2.93 per month to opt out). It’s not clear to me if I could still get caller ID, but it still adds up to only $14.12 for that “typical” month, so I’d make $100 investment in equipment back in less than 5 months.
What have I missed? What else should I take into account? What other options are there?
PS. The main thing I missed is that Netspace’s Naked DSL plans include iiTalk VOIP for free. (This is probably the same deal Julian’s comment refers to.) The Naked plan is $10 more than I’m paying now. One option for hardware would be a BoB2 VOIP phone would be another $9.95/month (and local calls are free), or $199 outright.