If you’re living with high-speed internet in one of Google’s Fiber cities, your landline telephone might yet live to see another day. Today, Google announced Fiber Phone, a cloud-based phone number you can use from any tablet, laptop, or phone—including a landline. It’s like Google Voice on bad steroids.
The proposition is fairly straightforward. You can either keep your existing landline number or pick a new one and connect any pre-existing phone up to the Fiber Phone box. For $10 a month, you get unlimited nationwide texts and calls, plus caller ID, call waiting, and 911 emergency calls. And if you’re using the Fiber Phone number from a more modern device, the service will transcribe voicemails for you and and text you the transcripts—just like Google Voice has been doing for years.
Why is Google doing this? Who the hell knows. It’s a way to squeeze a few extra bucks out of Fiber customers and could be some sort of regulatory play to ease expansion of its fiber network. Either way, you can sign up here if you’re weirdly interested in modernizing your landline.