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Can I cancel my basic phone service?

by exmusicbuyer / January 30, 2006 4:46 AM PST

Here's the background info:

I have the basic Verizon telephone package and now have Verizon DSL. I had problems getting it working, so a Verizon tech came out and diagnosed the problem as being the filters. He ran a dedicated phone wire that the modem now goes to. I believe the wiring goes directly to the phone box and is not part of the "regular" phone wiring. Everything works fine. The setup does not use filters, so I assume this is because it's not going through the regular telephone line and that the line the tech ran was a copper line.

I have no speed or access issues.

I have a cell phone and the contract is month-to-month now.

Here's the issue: After looking at my bills and usage, I'm certain it would save me money to take the next logical step and drop my land line service in favor of a decent cellular package. I wouldn't remove the line, but I would cancel the service.

However, Verizon says I must keep the basic telephone service in order to keep getting DSL. This doesn't make sense to me since the DSL line goes on its own to the phone box and I never signed up for any DSL/basic phone service package.

Is this correct? Do I have to keep my basic service and phone line while I've got a dedicated copper line?

Maybe later I will explore VOIP, but right now I'd like to keep it simple: keep my DSL and use the cell phone as my house phone.

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The verizon here is a no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2006 4:54 AM PST

DSL is only if you have a land line. You can go with cable, cut verizon and get the internet.


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I'm hearing otherwise
by exmusicbuyer / January 30, 2006 5:29 AM PST

The story behind my post is that I'm trying to simplify. I don't want to pay an installation fee for cable, sign a contract, get basic cable, or take on another payment.

As I pointed out, there's a dedicated copper wire going directly between the telephone box and the telephone junction box. The junction box is affixed to my baseboard that the DSL modem plugs into. I've heard that the only thing needed to get DSL is the copper wire going to the phone box; basic telephone service isn't needed.

The big question is whether or not I will still get my DSL signal to the modem if I have my basic telephone service cut off, but keep my DSL service active.

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Why ask here?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2006 6:39 AM PST
In reply to: I'm hearing otherwise

Seriously. If you want to do this, you call in and make it happen. No one here can tell you the definitive answer but the last time it came up, you could not do without dialtone and keep DSL.


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No baiting, please
by exmusicbuyer / January 31, 2006 7:39 AM PST
In reply to: Why ask here?

The fact is that the corporate answers aren't matching up with logic. It's possible that they're not matching up with engineering, either.

One one hand you've got living, breathing field technicians saying it can be done. On the other, salespeople who are trained to keep the dollars flowing and the customer buffaloed are saying it can't be done. Who's right? The customers would like to know.

After all, why should anyone have to pay for basic telephone service they don't use when they're already paying for a DSL plan and DSL might just need a single copper wire going to the phone box to function? This is compounded by the duplication of fees assessed when Furthermore, why should anyone have to pay "required" fees on each product they have (their phone plan, DSL and for cellular)? The phone companies will keep skirting the law by packaging products in ways to keep the consumers paying the fees, plus the charges.

In fact, the representative just told me over the phone --as she's going over a fee schedule different (higher) than what's published on line-- that they won't publish all their fees because "there's too much competition." She just admitted that they're violating the law AND duping their customers!!

It's becoming very clear that that all of this nonsense about requiring a dial tone might just be double talk to keep money pouring into the phone company's coffers.

Too many people and companies think that consumers don't care about where their money goes, and that they don't care when a couple dollars here and there are rounded off. I do and I think there are many more like me who do, too. We're the type of people who don't intend to grow old appearing to be wealthy. We intend to grow old while BEING wealthy.

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What can and should happen may not be what does happen
by GraysonBuzz / February 8, 2006 7:06 PM PST
In reply to: No baiting, please

You make valid points about what can be done technically. I have heard that there are locations around the country (former SBC/AT&T???) that have begun to offer naked DSL. However, the reality is that whether or not it can technically be done, Verizon, BellSouth, AT&T, etc. are under obligation to offer such a packaging of their services. So they are allowed to require a phone line with the DSL service. I would consider getting rid of my landline and going VOIP over my DSL if I could, but I cannot and there is not much I can do about it at this time. What will begin to make the landline phone companies consider this issue will be customers leaving them over this and going to cable and, at some point perhaps, wireless broadband.

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Phone company dilema
by rlunderhill / February 13, 2006 6:11 AM PST
In reply to: No baiting, please

You can opt for satillite internet service. I don't know what they charge, but, it's worth calling anyways.

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Telco can do it but won't
by fnash / February 8, 2006 8:02 PM PST
In reply to: I'm hearing otherwise

The answer to your message is Yes. The phone company can indeed cancel your phone service and you can continue to have your DSL. Whether it's across the same line or a different line doesn't matter at all. When it gets back to some point that could be as close as the phone box on the outside of your house they join again most likely. Having DSL without the phone service is called an unbundled loop.

Now comes the part you won't like. Just because they can doesn't mean they will. Most phone companies will not do this and will deny they can to the average customer. My brother-in-law runs an ISP and does contract negotiations with telcos to let the ISP use the telco's lines to run the ISPs DSL service. Kind of like when you subsribe to an AOL or Yahoo DSL service. AOL and Yahoo don't run the phone lines, they just have an agreement with the phone company to provide the line to your house, and they pay some set portion of the line cost to the telco. Anyway, my brother-in-law has arranged to provide unbundled loops to some areas they re-sell the DSL services, and in other areas the Telco flatly refuses to do it and have even tried to tell him it's not possible, at least until they find out who he is and what he knows.

Someone else here said to drop DSL and go to cable. Many, if not most Cable carriers will charge some additional fee if you don't already have at least basic cable service or may even require you to have at least basic cable service. This extra fee is usually close to what the basic cable service rate is anyway.

Hope that helps answer your question.

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CABLE broadband
by drwho / July 24, 2006 5:17 AM PDT

The reason most Cable Companies USED TO charge an extra fee for Broadband WITHOUT TV service was because in the beginning they discovered that people were canceling the TV service only but still getting the TV signal along with their broadband so in-effect they were paying for the broadband and getting the previously-paid-for TV service for free!

Nowdaze, they are actually able to split the signals so if you order Broadband only, that's all you will get. The cavet here is that you generally DO NOT have a choice of providers; if the local cable company sucks, yer SOL.

I had CHARTER CABLE for about a year or so before giving them THE BOOT cause they would SHUT DOWN the system "for routine maintenance" on random days, usually in the evenings. Complaints to Tech Support & Customer Service fall on deaf ears since every cable company has a monopoly and really does not have to give good service.

As for Satelite Broadband, you STILL need a landline to send outbound signals since yer 10" dish is designed to RECEIVE, not Transmit.

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The answer is "Yes, sort of..."
by exmusicbuyer / January 30, 2006 5:53 AM PST

I found out that I only have to pay $5.92 for dial tone service, plus applicable state, local, and federal taxes. Verizon would bill me at a flat rate of 10 cents per call, which I guess is okay since I'd only use it to call 911.

That's a $21 a month (excluding taxes) baseline for dial tone service and DSL. Time to start looking for a decent cell phone plan... I'll post how it goes after I crunch the numbers.

Also, a Verizon field installer I was referred to (Thanks, Ron!) by a friend said that the $5.92 literally pays for the privilege of having a wire run to the phone company's box and it's always connected and in an "on" state. He said when you activate your service, you're really just activating your billing account.

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A little information. . .
by Coryphaeus / January 30, 2006 9:26 AM PST

You still have a filter, it's now outside. You now have a dedicated run to the PC. This is called the "Home Run" method. The filter splits the DSL from the voice outside the house.

As far as geting DSL without voice, it's strictly up to Verizon. Probably not.

A lot of people are opting to kill their voice line and go cell. I guess it's ok, but what if the cell phone dies and you have an emergency? I have the same reservations about VoIP. I can think of no good reason to kill the most reliable device of the last two centuries.


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SBC will start to
by Ed Mead Forum moderator / January 30, 2006 11:03 AM PST

let this happen in the near future, but as far as I know, not at this time.

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Latest update: It's available in "Certain geographic areas"
by exmusicbuyer / January 31, 2006 7:19 AM PST

Attached is the response from Verizon's eCenter. Apparently, having DSL without basic telephone service is available in "certain geographic areas." I've asked Verizon to specify which of these areas it whether or not one of these geographic areas is Washington, D.C.

The telephone number is apparently for something called the "Verizon Encore Support Center."

Here's what I got back:

"Dear Verizon Customer,

"Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter. My name is Tracy, and I will be handling your request today.

"This message is in response to your email dated January 30. You inquired about the availability of Verizon Online DSL service without local service.

"You may be able to get DSL without having local service, but this option is only available in certain geographic areas.

"To find out if this option is available for you, please contact us directly at (800) 688-2880. A customer service representative will be happy to assist you.

"The department to which we have referred you will be able to assist you. If you have any additional questions, please let us know. We look forward to serving you.

"Thank you for using Verizon. We appreciate your business.

"(Jane Doe)
"Verizon eCenter"

I've decided to call the number since I'm getting the runaround.

Running dialog starts now:

I'm literally on the phone right now with Verizon's "Encore Support Center" and the technician said it's something called "dry loop DSL," which will cost $37.95 a month and includes the dial tone. Now she's pitching me on "FIO," which I assume is sales-speak for fiber optic. That's $29.95 for the first year and $39.95 after that (I guess they're pulling up short of asking for the kidney).

Still typing as they talk... Boy, these people sure do talk fast!

Running dialog ends.

So, what they're telling me is that they've covered their bases and are going to great lengths to ensure that customers must have some sort of dial tone if they've got anything but fiber optic. I figure that this is because they want to keep the "Federal Universal Service Charge," which they say is not a tax, but they're required by the FCC to charge it (Hmmm....Looks like a tax. Smells like a tax. MUST BE A TAX!).

Anyway, I ended up dropping the overpriced calling plan we had and took the $22 basic service and pay-as-you-go long distance until I can figure out all the true costs in a spreadsheet.

By the way, I'm now eyeballing the phone box and the wire the technician installed. There doesn't appear to be a filter anywhere on it. I'm sure the guy didn't do anything else because I watched him install it and I saw him go right to his van and leave. I've already tried to see if there was a dial tone coming out of the little tan telephone connector box on the wall; there is no dial tone. I think I'm going to go disconnect the phone wires and leave the copper wire in. Let's see if the DSL works without the basic service at all.

Stay tuned...

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? and the outcome is ?
by only2sunshines / February 4, 2006 4:56 PM PST

I'm interested in knowing what happened. I am looking for options to eliminate the high dollar phone line "not used" in my home. Why would you need a calling plan for a dsl connection? Why isn't a basic landline phone service enough to receive the dsl service that you PAY for.

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For comic relief.
by chuckieu / February 5, 2006 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: ? and the outcome is ?

FUSF (Federal Universal Service whatever) is a joke. It
was instituted during the Spanish/American War (Remember the Maine). It is still being collected even though ruled
outdated and illegal by the courts. They just won't stop
collecting it. Hope this cheers you up. chuck

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sbc dsl service w/o phone service
by hieulao / February 7, 2006 6:52 AM PST

You're on the right track. SBC's DSL does not require a functioning phone line.
I've had my phone line down before. DSL did keep on working.
Good luck,

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DSL with out a POTS Line
by raybank / February 8, 2006 5:51 PM PST

This reminds me of the guy that went in the cafe and ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and was told it was not on the menu, so he ordered a ham and cheese asked that it be grilled and said hold the ham. Some Telcos offer what they refer to in the industry as Nakid DSL. DSL without a local phone line. The larger telcos do not. They do not want to and do not have to. One reason is that your local telephone number is your account number, that is how they bill you in the system. If you cancel your phone, you cancel your account number, thus, no way to bill you for DSL. In some areas where the telephone company is not the A LEC, the billing system is different and a different method of billing was devised. For instance a new competitive carrier like Verizon offering service in an non Bell area. They use non telepone number as a billing number thus can bill seperately.

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Question still being "politicked"
by brickken / February 9, 2006 5:51 AM PST

IN 2003 Georgia ordered the "unlinking of DSL and landlines:
The Georgia Public Service Commission has ordered local phone provider BellSouth to let customers buy broadband services alone, which some claim is a win for the growing number of people using Internet telephone providers.
In 2005, the FCC caved to pressure and allowed Bell South to avoid that:,1759,1778099,00.asp
In a 3?2 decision shortly before the departure of former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell, the FCC voted to approve a petition from BellSouth Corp. to suspend public utility commission regulations that required the company to provide unbundled DSL service to customers.

So the lawyers are hard at it, denying a sensible approach to the whole wuestion.

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You really don't have 2 lines.
by maddogthegreat / February 8, 2006 5:49 PM PST

DSL is on your phone number. If you really have 2 lines into your house, it is only 2 to your closest phone post. And saves you having to install filters on all your phone connections. SBC runs only one line into a house and installs a filter on each telephone jack. The filter has a phone and a modem connection. Sorry the only way to get rid of your basic phone connection is Cable high speed.

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It depends
by jowoane / February 8, 2006 10:11 PM PST

If you are close enough to their central switching station, you want what they call "dry loop" DSL where no phone line or charge is required. If not, which is my case, tell them you want the most basic "measured" service for that required line, and don't have a phone on it (which it sounds like you don't if you don't have any filters). That is the ONLY line you need. Mine is $14.03/month including all taxes. It still makes my Verizon DSL $13/mo cheaper than Comcast cable Internet, when I include phone service- I use vonage VoIP service costing $16.94/mo total.

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Yes, it's technically possible. I have it.
by jwats01 / February 8, 2006 11:09 PM PST

As a couple of people have previously mentioned, your request is definitely possible. I have the service through a provider that simply resells the Verizon line (with a few extra services and a markup, mind you). Check out:

It's not what you are looking for, but I just wanted to clear up the misinformation people are spreading saying you can't do it. I am currently using the service from the link typing this reply.

I can't see any motivation for Verizon to sell that product until competition gets extremely fierce. Extra line = extra $$. That seems to be the bottom line.

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Cheaper to keep basic local + DSL
by jokerz / February 9, 2006 3:23 AM PST

I live in the LA area.

Last year when I checked out Speakeasy Onelink, it was more expensive overall than using Verizon $17/mo basic local service, no long distance, and $30/mo DSL. I believe that still holds. To cover long distance, I use a prepaid service that also includes receiving faxes via e-mail, with international calling - for the curious, the service I use is Onesuite. And I participate in a family plan for cell service.

My land-line phone number allows me not to give out my cell phone number except to family & friends.

As for 911 service, I believe that even if you don't have local phone service the telephone company is required to provide 911 service for you.

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I wouldn't
by ironsides76 / February 9, 2006 2:15 AM PST

Your basic telephone is the only telephone that will work during a power failure hence the only one that you will be able to dial 911 on during such an event.

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by cnetmmf / February 9, 2006 5:49 AM PST

Well, people, this is a very interesting subject, but I believe everyone is overlooking the obvious. The name of the game is COST. Since NOTHING happens without a connection to the Phone Company, they are in the driver seat. As long as there is some copper or any othere kid of wires being connected to your residence, it's going to cost you some money. So, even if you only have DSL Service connected to your residence, there are going to be costs. Now, SBC/ATT is charging me $24.95 per month for my DSl service, but if you read the bill closely the real charge is $59.95 per month less a credit of $35.00 per month. They provide that credit because I'm using their land lines, Cell and DSL services. So, if I eliminate my land lines, I will still be paying for my Cell Service to the tune of about $75 per month for only 400 minutes. And, they probably won't continue the DSL discount. SBC/ATT is in business to make money as are ALL phone companies. So, they will continue to make money one way or the other. My bet is that if VOIP takes away too much business, the phone companies have no choice but to increase DSL line charges or to drop the price of their phone service to retain some of that revenue. They aren't going to fold up and go away. Or, they can buy ot companies like Vonage and then there will be even less competition and the cost of phone service will continue to escalate. I know people who have eliminated their land line service and use Cable, but the cost of cable Internet is more expensive than land line service. I guess what I'm saying is this may be an exercise in futility.


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1ringydingy 2ri-------------
by explorsaytime / February 9, 2006 9:19 AM PST

thats right boys and girls. i could go into a history lession, back when mabell broke-up but im shore it would bore the h_ll out of ya. so lets just say, give the devil his do. if you want to dance to the music you must pay the fiddler. and dont forget to write your congr-assman, i mean you never know? thay did it once, right!

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Can I cancel my basic phone service?
by dickcaro / February 10, 2006 8:27 AM PST

Verizon doesn't like it when you cancel your basic telephone service, but you may. Just tell them that you want to change your service to "Dry Loop DSL." They will and must do this if you insist. They do it all the time for their VoIP service called VoiceWing that runs on top of DSL.

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FCC Strikes again
by bryanros / February 13, 2006 3:19 AM PST

I use my cellphone for all of my voice calls. I used to have 3rd party DSL on a voice line registered to a roommate. When he moved out in July of 2003(?) I had to switch to cable modem. That was not a problem since I was already subscribing to cable.

October (2003?) the FCC ruled that phone companies in certain areas (mine included) had to allow 3rd party DSL on an untarrifed pair for a $10 monthly charge that would pass through the DSL provider to the customer. (This sounds fair to me since the maintenance of the physical plant is covered by voice service.) This happend too late to help me.

Summer of 2005 the FCC decided to no longer require that local phone providers allow unbundled DSL or even allow the 3rd party to sell DSL at all.

Unbundled DSL is not a technical problem. It is an accounting problem. To a customer service person anything that does not have a price code is impossible.

Cable modem Pros:
Faster inbound that is normal for DSL (4-6mb common)
Lower latency makes everything feel snappy.

DSL Pros:
Dedicated outbound channel makes sending email with attatchments and sending files much faster.

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Cant believe this thread was emailed to me in a newsletter.
by Uncle Festtor / February 13, 2006 8:32 AM PST

Cant believe this thread was emailed to me in a newsletter. Nuff said.

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The deed is done...and all is well
by exmusicbuyer / February 22, 2006 6:20 AM PST

Here's what I did: I went to the box on my house, opened it and disconnected the wires. I left the single line connected that the technician installed. Everything else got taken off the posts, numbered them, and taped them together nice and neat. I mapped how they were connected just in case I have to put them back.

I went back in and picked up the phone and there was no dial tone. I then went to my computer, fired it up and went online. I tried switching to different Web sites. Everything worked fine. It's still working fine as of this post.

Just in case, I dropped my phone service to the cheapest possible service to get the dial tone even though it doesn't actually work in my house. This was just to cover my bases in case the phone company ever tries to accuse me of stealing services.

My services consist of this:
Basic (downright primal) telephone service.
The DSL package.
No long distance.

I unplugged the regular landline phones and threw them in the trash. I now use my cell phone for all calls. If the power goes out, I've got a power socket on the APU I hooked up for my basement sump pump. I can plug the phone into that to recharge it or I can run it off my car's socket.

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Voip all the way
by jaygmz / September 17, 2007 5:23 AM PDT

I did almost exactly the same thing.

Dropped my land line, went voip all the way. I signed up with Onesuite SuiteAdvantage and got a phone number, a new one because I don't want to port my old number anyways. So at the moment, I am using Onesuite for long distance non long distance calls. So far so saves me a bunch.

I know quite a few people going voip all the way too but I must admit, they need to develop voip technology more then more people will jump into the bandwagon.

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