Google’s ‘Fiber Phone’ is a new kind of land line

Andrew Tarantola

Practically nobody, save perhaps your grandparents, still uses a landline. But that’s not stopping Google from rolling out a brand new home phone service. On Tuesday, the company announced the new Google Fiber Phone, which works nearly identically to its mobile Fi service.

For $10 a month, users get unlimited local and nationwide calls (international calls will match what Google Voice charges), caller ID, call waiting, 911 service (kinda terrifying that I even have to mention that) and voicemail transcription. If you’ve already got a landline, you’ll be free to keep your current number or choose a new one.

And, of course, you get a standalone, wireless handset with which to make your calls. Interestingly, since your Google Fiber Phone number “lives in the cloud,” as the blog announcement states, you can forward all calls to your landline to your mobile device when you travel. Unfortunately, the service is only debuting in a few areas and will initially roll out exclusively to cities that already have Google Fiber installed. You can sign up for updates using this interest form.

Google isn’t the only company trying to keep landlines around. Virtually every major satellite and cable provider, as well as the telecoms, offer similar phone services, though few are as inexpensive as the Fiber Phone.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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