After The Deluge… Part 10: Telephones

A few people have queried some of the technology that is, and is not, present in my vision of a post-apocalyptic world. The commonest queries are about phones… no one seems to believe that the mobile phone (cell phone for our friends across the pond) would cease to exist! Many people of course can’t imagine life without these gizmos. Believe me people; life, love and liberty happened before the mobile phone!

The mobile phone is an amazing and staggeringly complex machine. To build one needs integrated circuits, exotic materials, global supply chains, teams of specialists in everything from software, electronics, radio, chemistry, semiconductor physics, mechanical engineering, mining… the list is endless. Remove any one of these specialisms and there is no product.

The traditional landline telephone is comparatively simple, at least in a basic form. A simple national network of telephones existed, before electronics, using manual switchboards and simple relays by the 1920’s. The technology in a reduced network of this type is within the capacity of the keen amateur to rebuild. The need to communicate effectively would demand that some, albeit limited form, of telephone network would be re-established quite quickly.

From the perspective of the story, removing the mobile phone, while absolutely consistent with the logic of the situation I have created, also has the advantage of removing the option for lazy plot devices. Our hero does not dash around in response to a text from an unknown source! I hope that this clarifies some of the questions that have been raised about the world I have created, more questions would be great!

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