Disconnecting unused phone lines

Discussions around standard phones and phone service in meetinghouses and what the future of meetinghouse telephones should hold
russellhltn
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Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:53 pm

"Surveys and usage data indicate that landline telephones in most of our meetinghouses are rarely used. This unused service is a significant expense to the Church. The decision has been made to identify and disconnect all nonessential landline telephone service in meetinghouses in the United States and Canada."

The STS, Stake President and FM Assistant is to work together to identify the phone lines.

More details can be found at letters.lds.org (for those whose callings grant access).
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danpass
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby danpass » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:15 pm

The STS in each of the stakes within our FM group's area had a deadline of June 30th to complete an online survey for each building. In the survey, we entered which lines to cancel and which needed to be kept. In our case, the only lines kept were the ones connected to fire alarms, an emergency communication line in the stake center, the line associated with the DSL service in one building and the lines we use for audio backup during conference webcasts. All ward office, hall/library phone lines are being cancelled.

njgpeck
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby njgpeck » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:10 am

I was just called as the STS and was handed the paperwork regarding this at the same time.

Just a thought, but has anyone thought of using a service similar to GoogleVoice to setup a number for each ward and then just forward that to the current Bishop's cell phone? This would make it easy to update when callings changed and could eliminate the need for clerk/bishop office phones while still leaving each ward with a static "Bishop's number" that everyone could have. Same could be done for the "Transient Bishop" responsiblity or ward clerk.

Now I understand that maybe not all Bishop's would have a cell and/or unlimited minutes on their plan but it might be an option for some locations.

Thoughts?

mevans
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby mevans » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:34 am

Our stake did this last year. They kept the stake office phone number and all the wards have that same phone number. There's some kind of message system that answers and lets you leave a message for the specified unit. It can also ring in the stake offices. I'm not sure exactly how it works. At times I do miss being able to call the bishop/clerk office and getting a human being to answer the phone. Now when I leave a message on this system, I don't know who gets it or when. I believe the stake's system is some kind of VOIP system that's hosted by an external SIP trunk provider, as the two phones in the stake offices just plug into the internet. Presumably with such systems, if other units in the stake needed a phone, they could go on the same system and be an extension on the stake's phone system.

russellhltn
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:03 am

One of the things I found interesting is that in the list of reasons for keeping a landline, nothing was mentioned about emergency communications. POTS has been shown to be a valuable asset in extended power outages.
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mevans
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby mevans » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:15 am

I thought I remembered the letter mentioning that emergency communications was a reason to keep a landline, although I'm not sure it specifically called out POTS. In several states, the phone companies are trying to get rid of the requirement to provide POTS lines, which has a negative impact in rural customers (and supposedly churches, too.)

POTS lines are great because they are powered by the telco (or cable company). That's why they work, as they have generators, batteries, etc., unless the emergency disables the infrastructure. Unfortunately, my POTS landline is from the cable company and they are switching technology away from a powered interface to one where I need to provide the power. I can buy a battery and put it in their box. I'm not excited about that, especially since I have a fire/alarm system in the house (and I have to rewire things to support their new technology). I could switch to the telco and get a POTS. I could put a cell connection on the alarm system (for an added monthly fee). I'm probably going to keep the cable company system and put a battery in the device and/or get a UPS.

russellhltn
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:26 am

mevans wrote:I thought I remembered the letter mentioning that emergency communications was a reason to keep a landline,

I thought so to. I went to letters.lds.org to find that quote, but couldn't.
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danpass
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Re: Disconnecting unused phone lines

Postby danpass » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:11 pm

russellhltn wrote:
mevans wrote:I thought I remembered the letter mentioning that emergency communications was a reason to keep a landline,

I thought so to. I went to letters.lds.org to find that quote, but couldn't.


From the letter we received:
Some situations that may lead to keeping a landline telephone include the following:
• The line is used by alarms or life safety systems.
• The line provides internet connectivity.
• The telephone is used frequently for Church purposes.
• Cellular coverage is poor in the building.
Additionally, one telephone line should remain in service in each stake center for emergency communication purposes.

We kept the line in our stake offices for emergency communications.


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