Landline Phone Service – Long Term Plans

My landline doesn’t get much use anymore, and so it is really hard to justify paying the monthly fee – especially when I have to deal with billing issues as described in the last couple of posts.  But I’ve had the same number for well over ten years and don’t want to lose it.

Ideally, I would like to port my landline number to Google Voice, giving ultimate flexibility with handling incoming calls. But number portability to Google Voice is currently not an option.

My second choice would be to port the landline number to a VOIP phone service.  I would, of course, still need an internet provide for the VOIP service to work.  Currently, my DSL internet is not through AT&T, but it is through another company called DSL Extreme.  But although third party DSL service such as DSL Extreme can be used “standalone” (without landline service) in a Verizon service area (as is the case for another property of mine), is not available standalone in an AT&T service area.

So that means I would have to pay more to go with AT&T standalone DSL or cable internet.  Either option would run me about $40 a month for the most basic service, since it wouldn’t be bundled with cable TV or any other services.  (I get the network TV channels over the air just fine, thank you.)  I’m currently paying about $25 per month for a 3.0 Mbps connection with DSL Extreme (an upgrade from the basic $20 per month for the 1.5 Mbps).  Therefore, any savings from switching to VOIP would mostly be offset by the increased cost for the internet connection.

Furthermore, all of the above is moot right now, since my current DSL Extreme contract doesn’t expire until late 2010.  So my plan is to wait and to re-evaluate the situation then.