Ooma Telo - Cutting the Landline Cord (But Keeping the Landline)

I've always been an early adopter of new tech. But at the same time, I still have a landline.

How? Why? Well, the answer's pretty simple.

Part of it is inertia. My wife and I were born in the mid-1970s.

We grew up with landlines, we're used to having a landline phone in the house, and we're probably always going to have *some* kind of "home phone" in addition to our iPhones.

But the primary reason is safety. We have two kids, and occasionally we have babysitters. I'm not sure I trust that every babysitter's cell will be charged and ready to go at all times.

So, we keep the landline.

But seriously, the options for home phone service these days are pretty bad.

In my Chicago suburb, you can go one of two directions: AT&T hardwired telephone, or VOIP. Both options have drawbacks.

As we've discussed previously, we started with AT&T, in order to make our home security system work. It was remarkably expensive, and got MORE expensive over time.

So we switched to ADT Pulse (which can use a dedicated cell connection), and moved to WOW! VOIP phone service.

Of course, this meant that I couldn't use my own cable modem anymore, which stunk.

In fact, you can't purchase a VOIP-enabled cable modem ANYWHERE, as far as I can tell.

So, I now rent a cable/phone modem from WOW!, for something like $7/month. It's not great.

Enter Ooma. If this works, it could be a bit of a game-changer.

At $100-120, the Ooma Telo isn't cheap upfront. But it has zero additional monthly cost. (except for taxes).

I took the plunge last week, when the Telo was available as a Woot! purchase.

It should provide us with home phone service at no monthly cost - AND allow me to go back to my own cable modem, and stop paying that monthly rental fee.

So in a nutshell, we'll be removing $40 from our services bill each month.

(That's enough for me to move to a higher tier of internet service, and still save money!)

The question remains, though - how will the Ooma Telo work? I just got a notice that the Telo has been shipped, so I'll have a full review up later this week.

UPDATE: Woot! shipped me last year's model of the Ooma Telo. While there is some debate re: whether the Telo 1 and the Telo 2 are functionally different, I'm not about to start out with last year's form factor. I returned it. 

I'll be picking up an Ooma Telo 2 elsewhere. Darn it, Woot.


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