MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Voicemails and landlines are going the way of dial-up.
Communications company Vonage says it saw an 8 percent drop in voicemail deposits and retrievals in a six-month period between October 2013 and April 2014. The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than a quarter of U.S. homes have also dropped their landlines.
So, who still has a home phone? Good Question.
“It was redundant with my cellphone,” said one Minneapolis man who gave up his landline a four years ago. “I don’t miss it at all.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2 percent of people have no phone, 9 percent have just a landline, 48 percent have a landline and a cellphone and 41 percent have just a cellphone. That’s the highest rate of cell phone-only use in history. It’s up from 20 percent in 2010 and 11 percent in 2007.
“It’s for all of the annoying calls I don’t want to answer, that’s the number I give,” said one woman walking along Nicollet Mall Thursday afternoon.
Telephone company TDS Communications offers customers several reasons for keeping a landline, including DSL connections to the Internet as well as connections to home security systems. Consumer Reports suggests bundling landline and cable service can offer lower prices for phones.
The FCC also says 911 can poise some problems for wireless customers. While a landline is associated with a fixed address, cellphones can be tracked to a general location that might not always be specific enough in an emergency. Cell phone carriers are working on this problem.
Older and poorer people are more likely to have landlines. For people age 25 to 29, 66 percent have no landline. For people over age 65, it’s 14 percent.
“We have kids and none of our kids have cell phones,” said one couple from Cleveland. “It’ll be gone once the kids are old enough.”