Comparison of Landline Telephone Providers
By Rebecca Macken
Landline telephones refer to the traditional in-ground and pole cabled telephone systems. While landline telephones are gradually becoming a thing of the past, with one-fourth of American households relying solely on wireless services, the industry still serves millions of consumers. These communication providers offer a variety of plans to meet individual consumer needs.
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, AT&T services are available throughout the United States. AT&T offers five landline home service plans, including plans for local calls, nationwide calling and international calling. Local calling plans, which include options for unlimited long-distance and local calls, vary from state to state in cost. The Unlimited Plus Plan allows customers to call anywhere in the U.S. anytime of day or week for a set monthly fee. AT&T One Rate 10 Cent Nationwide Direct Plan allows customers to call anywhere in the United States, any time of day or week for a low monthly service fee and nominal per minute fee. AT&T Nationwide Calling 120 Direct is a limited plan that provides customers with 120 minutes of direct state-to-state calls for a set monthly rate. Additional usage is billed on a per minute basis. International plans allow callers to make calls to more than 220 countries worldwide, with the cost varying by plan and country of call origin.
Boasting a network reliability of 99 percent, Verizon offers several landline service options. The Freedom Unlimited Calling plan provides customers with unlimited local and long distance calls, including those placed to Puerto Rico and Canada. The Flat Rate Service plan offers unlimited local calling for a flat monthly service rate. The Sensible Minute plan allows customers to have their local calls billed on a per minute basis, with an additional low per-month rate for the plan itself. The Message Rate Service plan includes a per month local call flat rate, with additional calls billed on a per-call rate. In comparison, the Economy Message Rate Service plan is provided at a flat service rate, with all local calls billed at a small per-call rate. Long distance can be added to the above local plans for an additional flat rate fee. Additional landline calling plan features include voicemail, call waiting, caller/call-waiting ID, call intercept, and access to the Verizon Call Assistant.
Communications provider Qwest offers four landline telephone plans for consumers to choose from. The Basic Service plan provides unlimited local calling for a flat monthly rate. The Qwest Home Phone plan also offers unlimited local calling as well as additional calling features such as caller ID, voicemail, and call forwarding at a flat monthly rate. The Quest Home Phone Plus package provides all the features of the regular Home Phone plan as well as long distance calls for a per-minute fee, while the Qwest Home Phone Unlimited plan allows for unlimited nationwide calls.
Offering two types of landline telephone plans, Windstream's services always include nationwide calling as a main feature. The Unlimited Phone plan allows consumers unlimited nationwide calls for a flat monthly rate. In addition, this plan includes caller ID, call forwarding and call waiting. A cheaper but more limited plan, the Flex Phone plan, provides 100 minutes of nationwide calls as well as caller ID.