Broadband Basics

Modern ways to keep in touch with friends and family

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August 09, 2019

For much of the 20th century the landline phone, was the primary means by which we would communicate with others when an in-person catch up wasn’t an option. Whether to chat with friends or organise outings or call the plumber, it would all happen from that one device fixed to a kitchen wall with the phone books beneath. Often it was the epicentre of the home and the focus of many a fight between siblings waiting for new girlfriends or boyfriends to ring, or mum telling you to stay off the phone as Aunty Edith was due to call from Sydney.

The increased accessibility and capability of mobile phones in the late 1990s started to change all that as more members of a household got their own phones freeing them from the dependency on the landline. 

These days, landlines have even become less important as the internet has given us access to a variety of faster, simpler alternatives which also have the video capability to allow people to see each other in real time.  

With Chorus continuing to invest in our copper network, landline phones still have their place but with the way things are heading more and more people are opting for the benefits and convenience of communicating using the internet.

Using the internet to keep in touch with family and friends

The first and most important reason to consider online communication is that it’s faster and easier to use than landlines. Instead of having to remember phone numbers and contact details, you can have everything saved and accessible at the touch of a button.

Another of the biggest factors is cost. This is especially true if you have family or friends overseas, because international calls can have a huge impact on your monthly bills. By switching to an internet-based call system like Skype, you can cut these costs completely. And if you decide you no longer need a landline at all, you’ll save even more by avoiding paying for two utilities that offer the same functionality.

As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to eliminate any unwanted spam or advertising calls, which are far easier to block from your mobile.

Can you get fibre broadband at your place? Use our Broadband Checker to find out!

Popular online communication services

If you’ve been using a landline for as long as you can remember, switching away from a landline is probably a bit daunting for you. To help you make the switch, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some popular online communication services:

Skype: Is still one of the benchmarks for making calls. It also has the added benefit of video functionality, letting you see your distant relatives rather than just hear them.

FaceTime: This app is similar to Skype, but is designed first and foremost for mobile. So if you want to quickly check in on your grandchildren and hear about their day from your iPhone, FaceTime’s a fantastic choice. It can also be downloaded on your computer. If you’re at home, make sure your mobile is connected to your WiFi to get the most out of your broadband connection and to avoid using up your mobile data.

WhatsApp: Owned by Facebook, this is another great mobile phone option. WhatsApp works across lots of different phone and computer types (Android, iPhone, Windows phone, Mac and Windows PC). It offers free internet-based international calling and texting. 

Pro tip: Feel like you need a bit more guidance on the best online communication services, or how to set them up? Check out SeniorNet - it hosts all sorts of dedicated courses and workshops.

Where fibre broadband comes in

No matter what tools or services best suit you, to get the best out of them you’ll need a fast broadband connection and enough data to handle all of your usage. There’s nothing worse than  having to deal with slow loading speeds and conversations constantly interrupted by buffering.

Luckily, the amount you could save by getting rid of your landline is more than enough to cover the costs of upgrading to a fibre connection with speeds of 100Mbps or more. Combined with an unlimited data plan, this will give you the freedom to call and connect with as many people as you want, as often as your want, over a fast and consistently reliable connection that has the capacity to handle even the longest of catch-ups.

Ready to chat without interruptions? 

Head over to the Chorus Broadband Checker to see if you can get fibre at your place. If fibre’s not available at your address, consider VDSL.


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