What is an Emergency Phone Line or Safety Line?
The Safety Line Service is a standard land line connection that gives you access to most of the features of a normal land line without the cost. It is limited to 500 incoming minutes and 10 outgoing minutes per month (overages billed at $0.10 per minute. You will also be given the ability to place unlimited calls to ATC Communications, Directory Assistance (charges may apply), 911, or "0" for emergency agencies, such as police, fire, rescue or ambulance. The Safety Line Service must be bundled with internet.
Why do I need a Safety Line?
We believe having access to a land line telephone is important for public safety. There are constant reminders of how important it is to have access to a dependable telephone service during emergencies. For example, a family in Southern Idaho recently lost their entire home to fire when they were unable to reach emergency personnel quickly due to a dead cell phone and no land line. By the time they drove to a neighbors home to use the phone the entire house was engulfed in flames and most of their possessions were gone.
Do I have to use the phone service?
No. We do not require you to use the service that is provided to you. However, we do believe that a safety line will be beneficial to you in times of emergency.
I don't want any phone line! Why can't I buy Internet only?
We understand. Unfortunately, ATC Communications gets a lot of funding from the federal program Universal Service. It was originally setup to ensure that customers in rural America had access to the same dependable landline service that people in urban areas have. Today, that funding is only available if a customer has landline service. We agree that the funding needs to shift from telephone service to broadband service. We welcome you to join our fight and send a message to the FCC or your local state representative. Ask them to support rural communications companies in their effort to deploy faster broadband in rural Idaho.