business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Here’s a number that’s an Eye-Opener, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, quoting the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

“More than half of U.S. households — 53.9% — rely entirely on cellphones.”

In other words, they don’t have landlines.

According to the story, “The number is remarkable for how rapidly it has increased, according to researchers behind the survey. In 2006, only 15.8% of survey respondents said they didn’t have a landline telephone. The iPhone and its Android counterparts launched the next year, and the rate of landline abandonment has since steadily climbed.”

It isn’t surprising, the Times writes, because “cellphones can now do more than landline phones; cell service quality and connectivity have become increasingly reliable; and many people who grew up in the age of cellphones and data plans have never even had to use a landline.”

But, it is nothing compared to some European countries, the story says, where “80% to 90% of households are wireless only.”

I must admit that we still have a landline … but that’s only because we’ve been living in the same house, with the same phone number, for 34 years; we also have a package that gives us internet, cable and phone service for one fee, and it actually gets more expensive to eliminate any one of them.

But the minute we move, the landline is gone.

Though there is one passage in the Times story that gives me pause:

“The health statistics center’s survey also found that members of cellphone-only households were more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, lacking health insurance and driving without seat belts, although the survey did not delve into why that might be.”

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