My New Home

by Colin Berkshire

Gone is the wall phone.

My wife and I are building a new home. It’s a second home for us. We’re home based in five different countries, and we decided to build a wonderful new/custom home in the Seattle area. We found a nice piece of waterfront property to build on.

We had a decision to make that was an especially difficult one for me: Should we wire the home for telephones?

For me the answer was obviously yes. I grew up being excited when we got an “extension” phone. And, when we did we also upgraded to extra-cost touch-tone dialing. Later one of the phones became a tramline and the kitchen wall phone was a slimline 2554 model. (It was so small and compact, and it didn’t have a moving cradle.)

Then my wife asked me when the last time was that I use the landline phone we have. (It’s actually a VOIP wired phone, we got rid of our wireline carrier 15 years ago.) I couldn’t remember the last time I placed or received a phone call using the phone. So I checked it. Yup, it still had dial tone and I could still make and receive calls. (I tested it.) I checked the CDR and saw there were a few calls, but upon further checking they were just solicitation calls.

Somehow I find it difficult to give up the wall phone in the kitchen. It just seems like it should be there. It almost seems dangerous to not have a wired phone in the house. (I know that most homes don’t have them anymore but I am “older”).

I decided to put in a few jacks “just in case”. It was hard for me to give up having a wired phone. So we drew a small number of jacks into the blueprints.

Today the electrician asked me if I really wanted those telephone jacks and if I was planning on really using them for my computer (he suggested that having an ethernet jack 4-feet off the floor might not look too good.)

I thought about it and told him that I didn’t think we needed the jacks. We would just be using our cell phones.

I have insecurities about not having those jacks in place. They just seem like they need to be there. But for the life of me I can’t really understand why I feel this way. After all, I really can’t remember the last time I picked up the phone. I ran my finger across the top of it to check for dust. None. But then I realized that the housekeeper is just doing their job.

I’m told that the vast majority of new homes being build have no telephone jacks.