With pioneering new technology and an innovative business model, Community Phone provides a lifeline to residents and businesses in the time of COVID while transforming home internet access.
BOSTON – October 8, 2020 – Community Phone, a national phone company committed to addressing the need for customer-focused telecommunications, announced on Thursday the launch of its landline relocation and internet referral service in an effort to support consumers and businesses in the time of COVID. Without requiring an internet connection and at substantially cheaper prices than competitors, the new service allows businesses and individuals to cut the cord with their old landline provider while moving their number to a cellular phone. Even in the midst of store closures and the pandemic fallout, millions of small business owners will be able to operate on their landline number from their cellphones. Community Phone is also offering free internet referral assistance, matching customers with the highest quality, lowest cost internet plans in their area, giving businesses and individuals the best option for a service which has become more vital than ever.
Founded in 2018 by James Graham, a Thiel fellow and a Boston’s 25 under 25 entrepreneur, Community Phone was established with the aim of flipping the traditional model of telecommunications service on its head. Instead of running up the cost on customers by pushing newer, more expensive cellphone models and data plans, Community Phone has won over thousands nationwide by putting their customers first. The Y Combinator-funded startup uses sophisticated AI to cut costs and bring the digital revolution to those who have been left behind by it. Community Phone works with publicly traded banks to serve disabled adults through their special needs divisions and provides affordable, robust-customer-support telephone service to seniors, businesses, municipalities, and small governments.
"I created Community Phone out of a simple desire to see customers be treated with dignity and respect," said Graham. "Some larger carriers exploit their customers—especially our country's growing aging population—and I wanted to create a company where everyone could afford and easily access a mobile phone and service plan.
“Our new landline relocation and internet referral service is a natural extension of our mission. In this time of need, millions of Americans and American businesses are being forced to enter the digital age. We are dedicated to helping our customers make this transition on their own terms. That means mom and pop businesses and elderly individuals should be able to keep a number which is important to them without paying exorbitant prices and without having to go through a complicated process, and that means having a good internet connection at the best price without fear of manipulation or lack of support. We know that in some places and some situations, internet is just not a possibility, but that’s why our landline service works without it.”
“Now needs to be a time that technology companies turn toward equity,” Graham said. “The world has reaped massive benefits from technological innovation, but it’s time that everybody enjoy those benefits in a way that fits with their way of life.”
Community Phone’s new service makes the process of moving a landline number substantially easier than it is with competing services: all of the transferring work is done for the consumer on the backend, giving less tech-savvy individuals a better way to cut the cord on their landline. This convenience has been made possible by Community Phone’s technological innovation: unlike voice-over-internet services like Google Voice, Vonage, and Ooma, Community Phone’s service uses a CLEC to POTS proxy to port landline numbers to cell phones. In addition to making the consumer experience simpler, this technology gives customers superior call quality at lower prices than other VoIP providers without requiring an internet connection. As the cord-cutting trend continues to accelerate with the growth of the Covid-19 pandemic, Community Phone is uniquely positioned to capture the lion’s share of a neglected population of consumers.
Community Phone is also changing the landscape of wireless home internet with their internet referral service, bringing better coverage at lower prices to their customers while giving business to local service providers from those leaving their bundle. By creating a national network of smaller providers, Community Phone is looking to break up the stranglehold large companies have on the wireless home internet market and bring power back to individual local communities. Their plans start at $39 per month, no-contract, for high-speed internet and home installation.
Early customers, including family and business landlines, have found the service to be a game-changer. Awake Us Now, an online international ministry, said Community Phone’s service has allowed them to navigate the pandemic’s effect on their community while strengthening their ministry.
“Our phone is an important part in our ministry,” said Ann Goehner, the Media Manager for Awake Us Now. “Even though we are all working remotely, now, when people call our corporate number the menu gives callers the option to press a number to talk to a particular individual, and the call is forwarded directly to that person’s cell phone without the caller even knowing we are all remotely located.
“Community Phone has also set up a process for our personal phones to register as coming from our corporate phone number when we use our personal cell phones for business, and it’s our staff’s favorite feature,” she said.
“Shortly, we will be providing the opportunity to listen to weekly prerecorded Sunday services and Bible classes using Community Phone’s custom menu options, which are especially beneficial for the elderly without access to computers and smartphones. Up to 9 people can also be listening at one time and our cell line is still available for incoming calls.”
Community Phone’s unlimited-talking landline plan starts at $9 per month, no-contract, and can ring on multiple devices at once. The number can also be customized with individual and professionalized greeting messages and phone menus.
About Community Phone:
Community Phone is a pioneering startup devoted to changing the world of telecommunications for the better. Founded by James Graham in 2018, Community Phone is the only non-cable nationwide provider offering cell and landline service. A part of YCombinator's Winter 2019 cohort, the company uses 21st-century technology to bring low-cost, high-quality, robust customer-support phone service to consumers too often overlooked and taken advantage of by telecom giants.
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