Our school is installing a new phone system over the summer. The new system uses something called Voice Over Internet Protocol to transmit voice as data over the computer network. To use VoIP, one must use a specially designed phone, which will be provided free to every student. A major issue that Adam, Adam, and I advocated for from the moment we found out about the new system was some method for people to have normal analog lines. In unnatural triples, or even just doubles, cordless phones are essential to roommates getting along. It is important to go outside to talk, or to bring your phone to a friend’s room, or whatever. The new VoIP phones are not cordless.
The compramise is that in exchange for using your cordless phone you have to give up all the cool features of VoIP, including conferencing, a screen that does cool things like gives caller ID and lets you look up numbers and see if you have voice mail, and other things.
Other people just want analog for other reasons. Fax machines, modems, whatever. I didn’t really understand these people. I think that the great benefits of VoIP far outweight the downsides, namely no cordless. I think cordless is something we should have, but it is simply not available. Analog is not a good alternative.
So I could instantly see why people would want cordless phones, but other uses I couldn’t really fathom. Does anyone really need a fax in their room in the age of email, scanners, eFax, and the like? What else could you possibly need analog for?
Then it hit me…TiVo needs an analog line. Whoops. Guess I’d better start advocating harder.