VOTW: Dialing 911, Cellular vs. Landline Comparison

And last but not least, our video of the week (VOTW). A local Iowa news station had 911 dispatch run a few test 911 calls from cell phones to see how accurately emergency services can pinpoint your location in an emergency. The results: a great advertisement for keeping a landline phone! A big thanks to Mutual Telephone in Kansas and Hartelco in Nebraska who directed NTCA’s attention to this video.

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Nearly 27% of U.S. Homes are Wireless Only

As of the first half of 2010, more than one-in-four U.S. homes (26.6%) were wireless-only, an eight-fold increase in six years, according to a new report from the CDC.

The CDC notes that the prevalence of such wireless-only households now markedly exceeds the prevalence of households with only landline telephones (12.9%), and this difference is expected to grow.

Other important findings:

  • 44% of respondents between the age of 18-and-30 are wireless only
  • 47% of renters are wireless-only

Although national trends can be drawn, the prevalence of wireless-only households varies substantially across state lines. Read more

Verizon Wireless Launches Home Phone Connect

Late last week, Verizon Wireless quietly launched its new Home Phone Connect service nationwide. Intitially trialed in in Connecticut and portions of upstate New York last year, the service uses Verizon’s cellular network to connect landline calls.

Here’s how it works. The customer can use any standard landline phone and simply plug it into Verizon Wireless’ AC-powered Home Phone Connect base station, which looks very similar to a residential Wi-Fi router. Once its activated, the user can place and receive calls nationally and internationally. The service also offers an array of common voice features, such as call waiting, forwarding, caller ID, three-way calling, voicemail and 911 service. Of note, the base unit also has a power supply to keep the landline working in case of a power outage. Read more

Pew: TV, Landline Declining in ‘Necessity’

The television set and the landline telephone are suffering from a sharp decline in public perception that they are necessities of life, according to a new nationwide survey report from the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project.

Just 42% of Americans say they consider the television set to be a necessity, a sharp decrease from the 52% recorded one year ago, and the 64% in 2006.

The drop-off has been less severe for the landline telephone. Some 62% of Americans say it’s a necessity of life, down from 68% last year. But there’s a related trend that’s more perilous for the landline. Fully 47% say that the cell phone is a necessity of life.

And, as we look toward the future, fewer than half (46%) of 18- to 29-year-old survey respondents consider the landline phone a necessity of life. Fewer than three-in-ten (29%) say the same about the television set.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data, just 74% of U.S. households now have a landline phone. This is down from a peak of 97% in 2001.

During this same time period, use of cell phones has skyrocketed. Read more

FCC: 21 Million VoIP Users Nationwide

The FCC has released its biannual report on “Local Telephone Competition,” which, for the first time, included comprehensive information about VoIP subscribers. As of year-end 2008, circuit switched POTS was still the dominant form of voice communication.

In total, there were 162 million voice connections at of the end of 2008, with 141 million traditional switched access lines in service, and 21 million VoIP subscriptions serviced by a cable, traditional telco or VoIP provider. Read more

25% Of U.S. Homes Are Wireless Only

Nearly 25% of all U.S. households have at least one mobile phone and no landline service, a 1.8% increase since the first half of 2009, this according to a new study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, one of every seven American homes (14.9%) has a landline but still receives the majority of calls on wireless telephones.

Landline cord-cutting has been increasing for several years. In 2003, the CDC reported that fewer than 5% of homes had ditched landlines for mobile phones, while in May 2009 that number had climbed to just over 20%.

Read more