The Continued Loss of Landlines

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The CDC issued its latest survey results a few weeks ago, showing that the loss of landlines continues, although at a slightly slower pace than in previous releases. According to their data, 41.7% of US households had a landline as of June 2018, a drop of about 1% from the previous six months. 

So that means that today, the percent of households with landlines is likely under 41% (it goes down at least 1% every 6 months.)

Here are a few interesting tidbits from the report:

1) It’s just a matter of time before landlines have gone the way of the dodo. Almost 80% of people aged 25-34 use only cellphones, while only about 30% of those over 65 do. That means that landlines will fade more and more as older people pass away.

2) There is a huge regional difference in landline usage across the US.  Specifically, about 40% of the Northeast (Pennsylvania to Maine) is wireless only, while just under 60% of the rest of the country is. That means that landlines are much less effective from Ohio to Florida to California. 

3) There’s not much difference between urban and non-urban areas. Perhaps because the cellphone carriers have improved coverage in rural areas, the CDC says that both “metropolitan” and “non-metropolitan” households have about the same level of “wireless only.”

4) Renters are much more likely to be “wireless only” than homeowners, probably because homeowners tend to be older. The challenge here for Emergency Managers and notification systems is that renters move about 4 times more often than homeowners, so keeping a registration system updated with their current address is much more difficult. 

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