July 9, 2014
Mobile Phone Connectivity Turning US Into A Landlineless Nation
Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe online
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday released its twice yearly report on phone usage and phone type in this country. This bi-annual study tracks American households and their typical phone usage, pairing that information with age, health and socioeconomic factors. Only a decade ago did they add questions aimed at determining the usage of cellular phones.
The landline, long a communication staple in this country, is slowly being replaced by households opting solely for cellular phones. Greater than 40 percent of households have ditched the phone on the wall. In the second half of 2013 cellular-only homes increased by 1.6 percent. Those homes combining landlines and wireless telephones, as reported by The Chicago Tribune, claim they use their cellular phone almost exclusively.
The supremacy of the cell phone is made apparent when you take into account that only five years ago, wireless-only homes accounted for 25 percent of the study participants.
As expected, millennials are leading the march to abolishing the landline. Among people aged 25- to 29-years of age, nearly 66 percent live in wireless-only households. The landline also does not fare well among people who rent rather than own their home or apartment. Urban areas seem more likely to cut the cord over their rural counterparts.
ABC News spoke with several individuals to gauge reaction to the study results.
“We switched to only cellphones three years ago,” stated Justin Hodowanic, an 18-year-old college freshman from Atlanta. “The only time we would get calls on the landline was from telemarketers.”
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The increasing trend, as evidenced by the surge from 25 percent five years ago to 40 percent today, cannot be denied. But a surprising fact emerged when the CDC's report showed the trend may be plateauing just a bit. Year-over-year gains have dropped below 3 percent during the last six months of 2013.
The reason for the slowing could only be speculated upon. According to lead CDC researcher, Stephen Blumberg, it could be that people are holding onto their landlines because of bundling options by telecommunications providers who offer landline service in tandem with Internet and cable TV packages.
Also speaking with ABC News, Dan Warhola, 34, explained he has only held onto his landline because the existing security system in his home was already tied into it. “I couldn't even tell you what my (landline) phone number is,” he stated.
Other interesting facts emerging from the CDC study, based on in-person interviews in more than 21,000 homes, showed that 3 percent of US homes have neither a landline nor a cellphone. Higher-income individuals are less likely than their poorer counterparts to have only a cellphone. And when broken down by gender, men are much more likely to cancel their landline than women.
Regionally, the Midwest of the country is the most wireless part of the nation. Just under 44 percent of people in the Midwest live in cellphone-only homes. The South and the West were not far behind.
Looking up to the Northeast corridor, the landline seems to be holding steady. Like the entire nation five years ago, the Northeast finds that only 25 percent of their residents live in cellphone-only households.
We are definitely a wireless nation. This latest iteration of the CDC study clearly shows the trend toward mobile dominance will march on, even in light of the plateau experienced in the second half of 2013.