Here's the biggest trend today in cutting the cord (and cutting costs): disconnecting traditional land line phone service and going with your mobile phone as your main phone, 24/7. Lots of people are doing it. Should you?
It's certainly tempting. If you're like most, you're paying two phone bills each month. There's that $50-$100 bill to your local phone company and another bill at least that big to your cellular provider. Why do you need both? After all, you carry around your mobile phone day in and day out; why can't you use it at home, instead of that old land line model?
The answer, of course, is that you can. You don't need to duplicate phone services; the same cellular phone you use when you're out and about can be your main home phone, too. Well, in most cases, that is.
Certainly, ditching your traditional telco service makes sense if you don't use it that much. If you find that the only calls you're getting on your land line phone are from telemarketers and political pollsters, then it's probably safe to disconnect it.
On the other hand, there are some things for which a cellular phone just can't replace a traditional one. If you do any faxing at all, you need that land line. You may also need a dedicated phone line for your home's alarm system, if you have one. And, if you ever have occasion to appear on the radio (like me!), stations will insist you use a land line and not a mobile phone; the call quality's better.
You may also want to think twice about relying completely on your mobile phone if you don't get great cellular service. That's certainly an issue in my household, where I go from five bars to none depending on which end of the couch I sit. If I had better cell service throughout my entire house, I'd be a lot more comfortable ditching the land line.
Another issue is your phone number. If you have a lot of folks who know and rely on calling you at the same old number, losing that number could be problematic. Fortunately, many cellular carriers let you transfer your old land line number to a new mobile account. Check with your carrier of choice first, however, to see if they can and what's involved in the process.
If you do decide to say sayonara to your local telco and go all mobile instead, you may want to invest in some equipment and services to make mobile telephoning more like the old fashioned kind. For example, AT&T offers Wireless Home Phone service that provides a wireless base unit into which you connect your existing home phone. The base unit sends and receives calls on your mobile number, but you still use your existing phones to do the calling.
Similar but not carrier-specific is Phone Labs' Dock-N-Talk, which lets you dock your mobile phone and then use your existing home phones to make and receive calls. The unit costs around $200.
Bottom line, it's quite likely that you can do away with your expensive local telephone service and go all cellular, instead. Make sure you check all the options in advance, though, to make sure that everything will work -- and that the changeover goes smoothly.