Years ago people on assistance could get a landline if they met certain criteria, such as poor health, being elderly, having young children in the home, etc. But they were limited to dial tone only. No extra features like call waiting, call ID,or voicemail. In fact, they could not even have touchtone back when there was an extra charge for it. I know this because I used to work for Ma Bell back in the day. We certainly have come a long way, haven't we?