What Is Hard-Wired Phone Service?

By Darrin Meyer

A landline telephone.
i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Telephone communication is achieved through a variety of platforms, formats, media and devices in the digital age, sometimes even without the use of a telephone. Though cellular phones, smartphones and even computers are used to conduct voice conversations involving two or more parties, the standard upon which telephone calls have been based since the inception of the technology is a hard-wired connection and service.


A hard-wired telephone service is a connection for telephone communications in which the telephone is directly connected to the wiring that transmits the audio from the call to its recipient and allows the user to receive incoming calls. The user attaches a telephone cord from the telephone to its incoming/outgoing point, which can be a standard telephone jack, an Internet modem or other capable device, to have access to the activated phone line.

Landline Technology

A hard-wired telephone connection is also known as a landline, as it relies on terrestrial-based cables running to specific locations through the telecommunications networks in place to connect the call from its source phone to its endpoint. Traditional hard-wired landline phone services utilize twisted copper wires as the core of the cables that transmit the voice information, though newer, higher quality conduits such as coaxial and fiber-optic cable are also used in certain areas with certain providers.


Hard-wired telephone users rely on service providers to receive access to the telephone lines. The user selects a specific calling plan, which generally includes local calling access as a base, with optional long-distance and other usage plans and a variety of features that can be added, such as caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling. A provider can be a traditional telephone company or other multimedia entity such as a cable TV and/or Internet provider. The telephone can be bundled with other selected services.


A hard-wired connection does not mean that the entire phone must be connected with wires, as a cordless phone can also be considered a hard-wired phone, provided the base/receiver is connected to the access point via telephone cord. Also, audio telephone signals can be transmitted in an analog manner, through standard telephone cables, or in a format known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), in which the sound is converted into packets of digital data for transmission through the home Internet connection.