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  • 05.13.10

One in Four U.S. Households Are Landline-Free

It’s the 25- to 29-year-old age bracket that uses fixed lines the least, with 48.6% of them living in wireless-only households.

old telephone

Nearly 25% of households in the U.S. have given up landlines for cell phones, according a survey from the NCHS. The report (.pdf file) shows an astonishing graph: in just six years, landlines have declined tenfold, which means that, should the trend continue, barely anyone will be using fixed phones by 2015.

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It’s the 25- to 29-year-old age bracket that uses fixed lines the least,
with 48.6% of them living in wireless-only households. The data, which was taken from 21,375 homes, also discovered that one in
seven American households has a landline which is never used.

So, fixed-line phone companies, what are you going to do? If, like AT&T and Verizon, you’ve already moved into the cell phone business–as have most of the European telcos (Spanish firm Telefonica, once state-owned, is the most aggressive, with acquisitions of cell phone networks all over the place)–then you can breathe again. However, if that’s not your modus operandi, then it’s time to start thinking about diversifying. Into the museum business, perhaps.

One of the odder bits of data mined by the NCHS, however, claims that binge drinking is double the rate in wireless-only households compared to those with fixed lines, with 34.5% of wireless phone users having more than five drinks in one day, compared to 18.7% of landline users. Do you think it’s got something to do with AT&T’s 3G coverage?

[Image Via Flickr]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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