Monday, September 22, 2014

No Land Line

Finally, we got rid of our landline.  Growing up, landline (and the TV antenna on top your house) meant your family has arrived.  Friendships were made (and broken) based on these two important status symbols and bare necessities.

It took us 12 years to get our first BSNL landline connection in 1991.  Even then, it wouldn't have arrived but for my marriage.  My father-in-law was with Indian Telephones at that time and pulled some strings and get us the coveted phone line under the 'emergency quota'.



From that single landline to a mobile phone for everyone in the household, we have come a long way in the last 24 years and in some sense so did India too.  When I registered for the landline, Government of India owned Indian Telephones was the only game in town and the telephone density was less than 10%.  Now, there are multiple carriers for both landline and mobile phones, vastly increasing the telco density to over 90%.

As everyone in our household got a mobile phone and always-on net connectivity, the mode communication shifted to mobile and VOIP softphones.  With the landline usage tanking, the only 'reason' we needed a landline was for the DSL Internet connectivity.  So, when ACT came to chennai and became reliable, I switched our net connectivity to ACT and got rid of the last vestiges of landline.  

Actually, getting rid of the landline was not all that easy.  Though, I am a platinum Airtel, they got nasty when I called to disconnect the landline (I still have my mobile through them).  Multiple Airtel staffers called at most inopportune times to convince me to 'just' keep the line or 'pass' it on to friends as if they were giving it to me for free.  After one week of endless badgering, Airtel finally 'gave up' and agreed to disconnect our landline.  I can now say We have "No landline in our home"

The wheel has indeed come in a full circle.. as Paul Coelho says in Alchemist.

Next - How is ACT broadband service ?  my first month observations next week.