Choose a Telephone Company for Service and Savings

By: Ray La Foy

There are so many choices to make when it comes to setting up a household that it's hard to be certain everyone is the best. When it comes too choosing a phone company to go with, it's important to look at all the facts before you dive into a deal.

Diversity in the phone industry has given telephone users all sorts of options when it comes to the type of phone company they'd like to use. Which phone company is the best for you will depend on calling needs, finances and availability of technology.

It used to be there was only one phone company and that was that. That's just not the case any more as all kinds of different phone companies have made there way onto the scene. There are some basic types of phone company carriers you can look at before deciding which one to go with. They include:

* Standard phone company. This will be the carrier for local and long distance service in your area. It's the one that technically owns the lines that are in the ground. This type of phone company is known for decent basic service, but the rates can be a little higher than the competition.

* Competitive local carriers that lease lines from the main company. Generally these companies offer the same types of services the main phone company for the area does, but they might do it at a cheaper rate for local service, or long distance. Don't expect a huge savings overall, however, as they do have to pay leasing fees to the line owners.

* Internet phone companies. This is an option many are turning to. These companies offer a phone type service using computers as the vehicles for making calls. The warning about internet phone companies is they often don't give a good option for using area 911 services, and they can be a little unreliable. They are, however, much cheaper to use and sometimes can offer very good service.

* Cable phone companies. As cable companies work to diversify, they've also become telephone company providers. Using their own fiber optic lines, these phone companies offer what's called "digital telephone" service. It can be a great package buy for a phone user.

* Cell phones. As the world becomes more dependent on portable technology, many people are doing away with their land lines all together. A cell phone company is a good option for local and long distance service, but bear in mind the emergency services, such as 911 call pinpointing, might not be available.

* Long distance carriers only. These are phone companies that work in conjunction with the main phone company in your area. They might be able to offer you a better deal on long distance calls than your main carrier. This could, however, mean you'll find yourself paying two different bills at the end of the month.

Choosing a phone company used to be an easy prospect, but now it requires a little research. Go with the option that best suits your personal needs and you should be set.

Do be cautious about emergency services availability, especially if you have a family to be concerned with. Rates are important, but they should not be the only thing that helps you decide on a phone company.

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