Going naked

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long but the latest broadband price increase finally prompted me to ditch my land line. It’s not worth $20 a month to receive offers to stuff my computer from India or donating to people who work through me tea time.

Once I found out how to do it by waiting in two separate queues, the first for 19 minutes and the second for 2 hours 41 minutes, it was quick and simple.

It feels kinda weird to have unplugged my phone. I’ve known land lines since I’ve known anything.

This is something like the first phone I can remember.

It had a crank handle on the other side, we were on a party line, initially shared with 8 other households.

Then we were upgraded to a phone like this:

Still with a crank handle used to ring the exchange. Our number was 207K – that meant our ring was long-short-long.

It wasn’t until I left home and moved to work in the city that I got to use dial phones. Actually my first job was working with phones and telephone exchanges, my first attempt at a career was as a trainee telephone technician for the Post Office. In an exchange like this:

In those days it could take months to get a new phone connection. One of my jobs was running jumpers to connect new lines at the exchange.

You could hear if someone was trying to cheat a phone box by pulse dialling with the hook. And when talk back radio started a bank of switches would go crazy about 9:05 every morning.

NZPO was preparing for the future. I did an electronic theory course at Polytech, solid state but mostly discrete components. A transistor was one three legged switch. Now you can get millions of switches bin something the same size. Electronic exchanges were mentioned as something of the future.

As everyone knows things have changed somewhat since then.

I’m far more connected than ever in the past but am now without a traditional telephone. Once revolutionary communication is now history.

Some of the Jetsons has become normal.

Leave a comment


  1. kittycatkin

     /  28th January 2016

    I never want to be without a landline; I have toll calls thrown in with my broadband. I find it really annoying to ring a mobile and go into voicemail for which I have to pay-I avoid using people’s mobile numbers if I can possibly avoid it because I don’t want to pay to talk to someone.. Also, the coverage is erratic where I am because of hills-it’s maddening to have to walk around trying to find somewhere where the cellphone will work on the odd occasion when I’ve had to use it. My neighbour, an estate agent, has to stand by the kitchen bench or out on her deck.

  2. Robby

     /  28th January 2016

    Having a landline is a must IMHO, especially if you have young kids. In an emergency, the operator knows exactly where you are, even if the person calling doesn’t.

  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  28th January 2016

    Gosh, reading a post like that PG, certainly ages you 😦

    Had anyone asked, I would have said that from your photos you weren’t a day over 74.

  4. Timoti

     /  28th January 2016

    Wait until heat, smell and touch are transmitted over the internet, Pete!!! Man, watching porn will take on a 4 dimensional meaning.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th January 2016

    I’ve been tossing up on it but still haven’t gone naked although my phone service is digital via 2talk and my own pabx. The reason I’m hesitating is that we get too many broadband outages and during them the calls can divert to the analogue lines. If I lived in a city I probably wouldn’t have so much of a concern.

  6. Rob

     /  28th January 2016

    We were on a party line with 4 others. Was good when I was a kid as couple mates were on the same line and we would all pick up about 7 pm and have a 3 way conversation. Never had the crank though,first I saw had a dial. Come a long way since then.


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