Cutting the Cord Compromise

I was talking to a young friend of mine (young as in he and his wife just had their first child) and asked for his home phone number.

He didn’t have one.

As it turns out, he’s one of the growing horde that’s “cut the cord” and lives only with a cell phone. The bottom line reason for this phenomenon is no secret – it’s the high price of traditional phone service.

But what that means is that my friend has a phone number, and his wife has a phone number, and his new baby will have a phone number in an increasingly brief number of years (gosh, six-year-olds with cell phones? Not unheard of these days). Indeed we’re at the point of seeing families with four, five, and even six cell phone numbers. But no home phone.

What they don’t have is a phone number where somebody can reach the FAMILY. It means that, in a pinch, friends and relatives have to work their way down a list of numbers to reach somebody. That is not a really good solution in case of an emergency, for instance.

The solution is simple. It’s a virtual phone number, such as the offering from Phone.com. One number to reach every member of the family. Basically, we’re treating the family in the same way as a small business, which wants just one number for its customers to reach the company and its employees. (Think press 1 for sales, 2 for service, dial by directory, etc…all offered by Phone.com as part of its Virtual Office small business phone service).

It works for businesses, and why not for a family? After all a family in many ways is a small business. And considering the cost starts at less than five bucks a month for family, or ten for a small business, it’s almost a no-brainer for today’s cut-the-cord generation to give it a try.

Stuart Zipper is currently a contributing editor to Communications Technology, a high tech business journalism consultant and freelancer, and the past Senior Editor of TelecomWeb news break.