The telephone or T.P. (Telephone) is available in many homes. It provides a means of communication with other locations that have a telephone. It can also be used to provide a connection to the Internet.
There is the physical device of the telephone itself. Then you also need to buy the service to connect it into the network of telephone devices. The network protocols vary by region in the world. And the government regulation of the telephone utilities are usually done on a national basis. In many countries the telephone service is provided by the same department that provides postal services.
Telephones come in many different styles, sizes and appearances. Telephones in homes first appeared in the homes of the rich in the late 1800s. At first, the telephone was often placed in the "working" or staff part of the house. Later telephones became less expensive and more commonly used, so they were installed for convenience in multiple rooms in large, wealthy homes. Even middle-class homes could afford a phone. Rural homes would often share a line—called a party line. Then satellite, mobile and cellular phones were invented. Again, initially they were expensive, as well as large, clunky and with limited ranges. And over time they've become more affordable, and in rural areas of less "developed" countries, they can be easier to connect than phones requiring a wired infrastructure.
Now there are many other phone options as well. There are phones with a base unit that plugs in and multiple hand units with separate chargers that can be placed around the home. And there are phone services over the Internet (VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol) and cable services.
- Internet connection
- DSL (digital subscriber line)
- answering machine
- telephone stand
- smart phone
- regional differences in homes
- electrical cord safety
- About.com on The History of the Telephone - Alexander Graham Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray raced to invent the telephone.
- Wikipedia's article on telephone