Cutting the cord – life without a landline

It is the simple truth that the internet is a vital part of life, and living without it would be difficult. Services such as banking, bill paying and finding information are now almost exclusively done on-line with many companies offering discounts for using their internet portal instead of making a manual or cash payment. The main reason for this is that it is generally easier and cheaper to use the internet for many of these services. The upshot of this explosion of internet use is that an on-line presence is now more or less mandatory with service providers offering cheaper deals, exclusive gifts and free equipment to entice you to choose their products.

Although traditional land-line based internet is still most prevalent in the UK, mobile broadband is growing in popularity, especially now that 4G unlimited data is available to a higher proportion of the population. Figures from OFCOM suggest that around 80% of adults now have either have mobile or land-line based internet access, with mobile usage growing at a phenomenal rate. There are a number of practical and economical reasons for the massive uptake of mobile technology.

Portability – It may seem obvious, but the ability to connect to the internet wherever you are is arguably its most important feature. Your phone, tablet or laptop (with a suitable dongle) can be used virtually anywhere that a signal is present, via free wireless systems, hotspots or 3G / 4G.

Accessibility – As suggested, you can connect anywhere and it becomes essential where a land line connection is not available e.g. in rural areas where traditional means of connection are patchy or non-existent.

Speed – 4G access is often faster and more reliable than fixed broadband so it becomes the obvious choice.

No line rental – You can make an immediate saving by not needing to pay for a static line into your property.

However, there is still a place for fixed broadband.

Gaming – As a general rule, if you are a gamer, then a land line connection is essential. It is more reliable, has a lower latency (Less lag) and, in the instance of fibre optic broadband, is considerably faster. Most high level graphics games would struggle to run via a mobile connection.

Data – Most mobile broadband contracts come with a fixed amount of data. Going over your allowance can prove to be expensive. A fixed broadband connection is typically uncapped so less expensive for the heavy user, however factoring in line rental a high mobile data allowance may still be cheaper.

There are clearly a number of pros and cons to each system and the best option will be the one that suits your needs. A gamer, for example will not be satisfied with a mobile system, whereas the light browser will find the portability and costs to be a big advantage. It is fair to say that the advent of reliable, fast mobile internet systems is positive, although it will not replace the more traditional fixed option in the near future.

Comments are closed.