The landline is dead, of course, but is apparently still live enough that Amazon makes the Echo Connect so that the constant stream of telemarketing calls can be fed directly to the Echo (and so that one’s outgoing calls aren’t mistaken for telemarketing due to having a legit caller ID!).
As long as Alexa is connected to the phone line and able to answer the phone, shouldn’t it be possible to say “Alexa, please answer my unknown calls from now on”? Alexa can then ask “Who lives in the house” and then, if an incoming caller is not asking for one of those people (or company names perhaps), Alexa can play a prerecorded message to the caller. The caller ID would be automatically whitelisted (but could be switched to a blacklist by the user in the Alexa App’s list of recent calls). On a second call from a whitelisted number, Amazon remembers the caller ID and lets the number go to the legacy phone for conventional ringing.
For a large house maybe there needs to be a beefed-up Echo Connect that can sit in front of the conventional phones and get them to ring after the actual call has already been picked up.
What do readers think of the above? It would seem that Alex already has 99 percent of the capability necessary to make a home landline useful again.