Have You Abandoned Your Landline Phone?

Have You Abandoned Your Landline Phone?
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New research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) suggests that 3.3 million Australians (19 per cent of the population) have abandoned landlines altogether and now rely solely on a mobile phone to make calls. Are you among them?

Picture: Colin Davey/Getty Images

I’m on that list myself: there’s a phone in the workplace, but at home I rely solely on the mobile. For the handful of relatives who might complain about the cost of calling a mobile, I offer to call them straight back (I’m on an unlimited plan, so it’s no fiscal stress from that point of view).

Unsurprisingly, the phenomenon is much more marked amongst younger users, some of whom will presumably go through their whole lives without ever signing up for a landline phone. The only real difficulty there is the need for internet connectivity, but amongst that 19 per cent, a large proportion (81 per cent) also rely on 3G or 3G rather than fixed broadband.

Have you abandoned your landline and gone mobile-only for calls? Tell us (and tell us why) in the comments.



  • I’m in that ridiculously annoying situation where I can’t get naked ADSL at my home, no one provides it. Instead, I have to pay for a home phone, and get the internet that way. So I pay for a home phone line, but I don’t actually own a home phone.

    Hurry up, NBN.

    • I have an even more ridiculous situation, in that I have a naked ADSL service, but wish I could go back to line rental. My line speed is so poor, that I struggle to get the VOIP service working. I’d rather get the two separated and have a landline and “ADSL”, but given how much more expensive that is, I’m paying for a VOIP service I can’t use.

      Definitely need that NBN.

      • Having a naked line (ULL service) means that you actually pay telstra around $20/month for your line, but it is bundled with your internet cost.
        You also lose the USG (universal service guarantee) meaning that if your line goes to shit you don’t get a refund from tesltra. If you have a home phone and get audible crackles or poor voice quality on the line AND the fault is not in the customer’s wiring you get a daily refund that increases if the fault continues for a long time. If it is a fault on an ULL it is much harder to diagnose and you will not be refunded for outages.
        Most ADSL faults I have had are caused by things that are actually audible on the voice line.

        Also, adsl does not use a current high enough to provide wetting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetting_current), i’m not sure if they have addressed this with modern modems/dslams but apprently it is worth picking up your handset periodically to blast the corrosion off the contacts along your line.

        • Hi there,
          QUOTE: “but apprently it is worth picking up your handset periodically to blast the corrosion off the contacts along your line.”
          Could you explain this a little further?
          My handsets (2 Naked ADSL Lines) are rarely used. Mainly incoming odd calls….
          Do you mean I should periodically (weekly??) dial out on them or literally just pick them up a couple of times?


          • Literally just pick it up, it spikes the voltage on the line. Not that I ever do it, I don’t even own a handset

    • Same here, phone line only for internet. Can’t get naked too. But i got a phone connected just in case. Funny thing is, it rang last night for probably five times. No one knows our number but iiNet. So I figured those were probably the damn telemarketers again. Either that, or I got a recycled number.

  • I only have it so my relatives can call. My older generation don’t call mobiles as it costs then more

  • Needing an active phone line for ADSL is joke. When i moved out of my last place, i disconnected my phone phone a few weeks before i moved out. Couldnt make any calls out. Still had a dial tone. My Internet connection worked fine. Fair enough, i probably still occupied a port on the exchange, but thats it. Telstra keeps jacking it up, and everyone else passes the cost on.

  • We still have a landline but it’s only purpose is to provide us with an ADSL connection to the rest of the computers and home theatre.

    I’m not sure whether this is an actual phone plugged into the point or not.

  • Yep. Same annoying situation being in an area that doesn’t have Naked ADSL. Have a phone line without a phone connected JUST to get ADSL…

  • Too far from the exchange for ADSL, so we have Fixed Wireless with VoIP, but the VoIP phone gets used maybe once per quarter.

  • Got rid of landline years ago – the added note here should be that if you make outbound calls from a landline in your home, and you have lots of friends who ONLY have a mobile – it ends up costing WAY more than calling from your mobile if you have a cap plan. There are very few incentives to retain a landline handset in 2013.

  • The copper to my house must be over 30 years old with a few Telstra pits in between, once rain gets in I was getting dropouts galore.Switched to telstra cable (and included was a home phone line) Cable is the bomb and I use voip for making calls and the pstn line with my normal number for incoming calls , works a treat !!

  • Since moving into our place in 2008, we’ve had a phone line (for internet) but no actual phone. The line only costs $7/month so it’s not too much of a concern.

      • I suspect @april is talking about the price gap between a naked line, and a line with a telephone service attached. For me the actual difference between having a naked line and a phone line is only about $5 per month.

  • Went naked 18 months ago, $5 per month covers our calls to fixed lines. We both have mobiles to call mobile numbers. Works well.

  • I went naked in 2009, got myself a VOIP phone ($5 /month that can be used as call credit) for the in-laws when they come and babysit the little one. Pretty good call rates for overseas calls too.

    99% of calls are made to/from mobile. Landline is so last millenium.

  • Just moved and signed up for Naked ADSL so no more landline for me. The only people who ever called my old land line were my parents (and they were likely as not to try my mobile as well) and telemarketers/charities.

    Much happier this way, except when I need to make outgoing calls… but those occasions aren’t all that frequent so I never go over my cap.

  • I’m weaning myself off of the landline. I only have it connected because I run my business from home. I find that some customers prefer to call a landline, rather than a mobile.
    In time, that too will change.

  • I stopped using landlines ages ago. Before that I still got barely any calls through the home phone that wasn’t just cold call marketing BS. Since I’ve lived with housemates in many places it’s much better to not have a central phone so you don’t have to answer calls from random people πŸ˜›

  • We do because my partner’s parents live in NZ, and it costs more to call a mobile in Australia than a landline in Australia… Sigh.

  • Am I missing something here?
    I pay $49.p.m. for an ADSL Naked Account with MyNetFone and it means I pay nothing more for anything I use it for:
    International calls
    Local calls
    Of course, I’m not a Leech and never reach my allowances which are very reasonable.
    It’s lousy net speeds which are my main complaint – but everyone I know seems to have that problem.

  • I have had naked DSL since February 2010. In my previous place I had a phone line but no handset on it. I couldn’t get naked DSL back then. In the early 2000s I had a phone line with a number people knew but calls were only from telemarketers and my parents.

    Chatting to the parents is now done through Skype, as we live in different states (and my sister is in the USA) and don’t see each other often, and having video beats just chatting on the phone.

  • Ditched my landline phone about 7 or 8 years ago. Have had either naked DSL or a landline purely for ADSL purposes for a long time.

    If I had older relatives who still used a home phone I probably would’ve kept it though. Same if I had people overseas, I’d probably have a voip set up. But as it is, there’s no need. I don’t make long personal calls, and everything else is SMS.

  • I have Naked ADSL without VoIP, my mum has a VoIP connection though (so like a home phone only cheap)

    I would not mind a home phone with VoIP but I’m not willing to pay extra for it. I have been without a home phone for 5 years. The only annoying thing is 1800, 13 and 1300 all costs me… there meant to be free call numbers

  • We have a phone number apparently for our ADSL, but we have no landline phone connected to it. The three peeps in my house all just use mobiles.

  • Technically I have a copper cable for ADSL, but it’s naked. I haven’t had a landline in years.

  • Couple of years ago my town lost power for 3 days, after my mobile and the phone towers went dead, I used the landline for 2 days. Have made sure I have kept it ever since.

  • I wish. Nobody has my landline number anyway except my fiancΓ©e, so the only calls we get on our private do not call register number are telemarketers and charities. Pricks.

    Pay for it so might as well have it plugged in for emergencies, and couldn’t get as good a deal for internet on naked DSL, plus I’m not going on a 12-24 month contract with NBN 6 months away. Looking forward to NBN, I’ll never have a landline again.

    The only time I ever use the landline are to call 13 and 18 numbers, because they’re stupid expensive on mobile.

    • Got rid of our landline 8 years ago and haven’t missed it. We have 2 $30 Optus prepaids, we call each other for free, the kids have a phone for occasional use that we can call for free. We call the US regularly, we call Europe as well as Australia and have never used all our calls or downloads on our phones.
      We live in regional Victoria and have Satelite NBN connection $60 for 60 gig and we are crazy downloaders/streamers – use the net for TV – don’t have an aerial, don’t want free to air – we watch what we want when we want. We were paying more for a crappy landline, crappy internet and 2 stupid postpaid contracts – telecommunications was our biggest bill – when we did the figures and worked out we only recieved landline calls about once a month – everyone called our mobiles, we couldn’t work out why we were paying monthly rental to never use it.
      We have pretty good mobile reception from our kitchen window!!! – only have a bother if it rains, but then we can use voip…so its no biggy.

  • I have a landline, but only because my cable plan is cheaper with it than without it.

    Never used it, never had a phone plugged into it. Use VoIP or mobiles for all our calls.

  • As far as making calls… dropped the landline in 2005 when I moved house.
    Since then was using VoIP for a while as most of my calls were interstate.
    Then mobile plans included value increased to the point where I dropped the VoIP.
    Currently have naked ADSL.

  • I’ve been considering on-and-off for the past year about switching to voip and ditching the landline phone but maintaining the home internet.

    My parents want to lower their phone bill but don’t want to lose the security of the landline. We have a second separate landline connection with Telstra that’s for my dad’s home business (the primary landline is with iPrimus). My mum regularly rings our relatives in the Philippines on her mobile with Vodafone International prepaid but it’s such a moneysink, however looking at some of the major telcos who do voip along with Skype, the price of using voip to call the Philippines is either marginally cheaper or marginally more expensive than using the existing setup.

    So yeah, I really don’t know what to do or which avenue to look at/pursue.

  • Get iiNet Naked DSL: The best of both worlds. Landline, and Fixed internet. Plus, with the NBN, you don’t need a landline.

  • I have a fixed line phone only because it’s far easier to teach my 2 year old how to use a fixed line phone, rather than a mobile phone in an emergency.

    • Actually, from what i can gather about Aust standards for things like this, every device capable of making emergency calls, has to be able to do so in less than 4 presses, which all phones, regardless of their form, comply to..
      Source: My 3 smartphones, 2 landlines and old flip phone all require 4 or less button pushes to call emergency (and my S3 has a quick button for 000) so that means in less than 3 button pushes a child or disabled person can be trained to call emergency… πŸ™‚

  • I had iiNet’s VoIP with a naked package but they have made it a charged extra for the NBN do it’ll be gone in two weeks πŸ™‚

  • Due to the rising Telstra landline charges, I moved the farm business to a Mobile on kogan. As we didn’t want to change the local number (local business and advertising), I ported it to youfone.net.au VOIP and set it to Divert to the Mobile. Now we have unlimited calls plus a local number for far less than the landline basic rental. Internet is via a Wireless Internet service (wwwires.com)

  • Abandoned the land line – YES we have. At min $40 with call costs on top, I get by cheaper with prepaid Vodafone on my mobile. AND it’s my internet access at the moment – at least for necessities. Looking at high speed internet to home but DON’T want to pay $40/mth on TOP of my internet. Am technology NOOB, advice appreciated. Not in NBN rollout area – very few people seem to be.

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