If you're willing to do voip then there are many options available to you. Just so long as you have a reliable internet connection.
On the other side of the camp, you could try going with Rogers Home Phone Service. If you signup as a new customer you can typically get a decent rate for the first year. Maybe something like $30/month. After that you can negotiate the same price or switch back to Bell as you'll be a new customer again. Rinse and repeat every year though.
Personally, I'm using freephoneline.ca and ported my land line over to it almost 2 years ago. Zero monthly costs and the only outlay of cash was the initial login credentials ($50), porting the number ($25) and buying a voip adapter ($50). I recouped my costs within the first four months. It's not without its headaches and to be honest if it wasn't for the home alarm we wouldn't even have a land line anymore.
Yeah I originally went from Bell ($45/month) to Rogers ($30/month) but I had just basic service with 3 voice features. After Rogers I went voip with freephoneline.ca. Calling them back usually works if you want to have the same rates.
Freephoneline.ca is FREE, ie no monthly bills. Only downfall is that while all incoming calls are free and calls to most major cities/towns, there are some places that require some money on your account. Honestly though, I put a few bucks in every 6 months or something. Oh and I forgot that to unlock their service so you can use your own SIP devices (ATA, IP Phone etc) you will need to pay $50 for the login/password. Think of it as a one time setup fee. If you use a service like VOIP.MS, I think their min top up fee is $25 each time.
As said before, you need a good internet connection. Speed is usually not the issue, it is the latency. In a few different places that I have lived, I have not experienced any issues.
With all that being said, most routers work fine with VOIP but some have problems, and if you want to use a regular old phone, you will need an ATA device.
All in all, you should not be paying more than a few bucks a month, depending on where you are calling and how often. I use my cell (Wind / unlimited), so my landline barely gets used.
I'm just reviving this thread as I have a landline related question.
My background: I have not had a landline in my own name since 1996, and even then, that was only for 4 months (a co-op term), and that was my first. And last.
I did continue to use (other people's) landlines as primary communication until about 2000. From then on I've either had a work phone, personal phone, or both. There in my mind has been no value added case for having a landline if you have a cell phone, especially nowish when they cost the same (not even talking about VoiP options). Like, how much does a land line even cost anymore?
Anyway, other than everyone's parents, does anyone have non-work landlines anymore? Why? What's the point?
The only "unsolicited" calls I get on my cell are (in order of frequency):
1. Credit collectors for various previous owners of this phone # (Josh!! If I ever find you!!)
2. Wrong numbers
Contrast that with when I'm at my parents' place, who incidentally both have cell phones, the stupid landline rings REGULARLY with unsolicited calls. There are three top offenders:
1. Who would you vote for in an upcoming election?
This one is a robocall -- obviously funded from Canada somehow cause noone else would care. All robocalls should be illegal, or data mined from robocalls should be illegal. I always press "5" which is "other" in order to give as little value as possible, in the hopes that this practice will eventually be abandoned as inaccurate. It's already inaccurate but I suppose it must be grossly so in order to be noticed as such.
2. "DO you need Duct cleaning?"
These guys call at least three times a week. Surely they are all different consortiums. At first I just tried delaying them, wasting their time as long as possible. Then I tried giving them fake addresses. I don't see how their business model works. They seem to take a fake address and ask no further questions.
3. "I am from technical support/you have a virus/we are the support company" please stop whatever you're doing on the computer press windows-r and type entry.vwr or variant"
I'll fuck with these guys for a while but I can't really get past the part where they say "ok please tell me what you see on the screen" so then I usually say:
"Mohammed likes to suck the cock of a big cow" Because, while I do know they are variously call-centre brown of some kind, I don't know if they're muslim or Hindu. I figure bovine sexuality with mohammed should insult them both. I mean without speaking Hindi or Urdu this is the best I got going for me, to shoot down a guy on the phone who is trying to hack my computer. No offence to any brown people here (you muslims on the other hand....)
The only justification I have to ever own a classic landline is the regulatory requirements for the phone to operate in the event of a power outage. Cell, VoIP (eg. Rogers Home Phone), Internet etc. does not have the requirement to keep running, so companies don't go to the expense of using backup battery banks etc.
Now the question is, given how often a power outage of more than a few minutes occurs, is it worth spending (say) $350-$450 annually for a what-if scenario. Maybe if I had kids.