It already happened in the home, and now it's happening on college campuses everywhere: landline phones are vanishing. With the proliferation of cellphones
, it has made it harder and harder for landline services to prove necessary. Even VoIP
-based services such as digital phone from a cable company or Vonage
seem limited in use, with the only true benefit being cheap/free calling overseas. But with the iPhone
able to handle cheap Skype Out calls now, even that point is becoming moot.
There's no question that landline use has been declining in the home while mobile use has been on the rise, and it's only a matter of time before the landline as we know takes a very secondary position in our hierarchy of communication tools. That's made evident by the decreasing availability of landline telephones at universities across America.
Over the past few years, select colleges have been eliminating in-dorm landline phones in a bid to save money and evolve as the needs and demands of students evolve. It's hard to imagine a kid coming to campus now without a cellphone, which makes it even harder to believe that those kinds of kids would be heavily using a landline if their mobile is always in their pocket. Most recently, the storm has blown up again with the University of Virginia announcing that they too would be killing their student landline program next year in order to save around half a million dollars. Officials say that students can still have a landline upon request, but they don't expect too many to take them up on that offer. The University of South Dakota canned their landlines last winter, as only about 20% of students were even using them at all, let alone heavily. UVA still says that emergency phones will be scattered throughout in case wireless service fails, but it looks like the days of every single dormitory room having a landline connection are nearly over.