April 30, 2007

Fax Line

Is a fax line an anachronism?

I've had two business lines for my company since I embraced self employment in 1995. Originally (working out of the house), I had a home line and added a fax line. We did a lot via fax back then - I'd regularly get 10 and 20 and 30 page faxes from clients. Back then, there was no broadband, so the fax line doubled as an internet dial-up connection - which at the time was a "dial in, download email, hang up" process. I'd occasionally get calls from clients trying to send me a fax and getting a busy signal (I was an early acquirer in terms of hanging out online).

Eventually, I got DSL. I kept the fax line, though - still lots of faxes came in, the dial-up was a nice backup for the often flaky DSL. And it was nice having a 2nd line option - with a two line phone one could conference call on the cheap.

Flash forward to 2007. I get almost nothing in the way of faxes. I could easily use the conference center's main fax line for my 1-2 faxes a month. The second phone line is nice (mostly, I make outgoing calls on the fax line if I am expecting a call on the voice line). I've had part-timers working for me and its nice to give them their own voice line. And broadband cable has been so reliable - I have not dialed into the internet in years - not even sure I have my office computer conencted to a phone line at this point.

Is the fax line obsolete? Probably. But at $25 a month, its not all that expensive - and adds a bit of footprint in terms of professionalism and reputation - compared to the home office, fax machine picks up thing.

But goodness, has the world changed in the past 12 years.....

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