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Consumers are increasingly giving Ma Bell the cold shoulder, severing their landlines in favor of cellular phones, according to a new survey from Harris Interactive.
According to Harris, approximately 13 percent of U.S. adults use a cellphone exclusively or plan to do so within the next six months. That's up from 9 percent of landline-free adults when the survey was conducted in April 2005. That year, 5 percent of respondents also said that they were seriously considering losing the landline and would switch within a year, and 47 percent said that they were "somewhat considering it."
Of those who plan to cut the cord in six months, 55 percent said they preferred the flexibility that a cellphone offers, while 30 percent said that their wireless plan is actually a cheaper alternative to a landline.
Ma Bell can stop sobbing, however, as Harris also noted that "many adults are reluctant to discontinue their wireline service and go exclusively with wireless or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service." Thirty-seven percent of those who retain a landline cite the ability to place calls during power outages as a reason, 31 percent say they keep it for the ability to place 911 calls, 31 percent cite a strong network/no dropped calls and 25 percent highlight the ability to always get a dial tone.
The Harris survey also noted that 74 percent of adults are wireless subscribers, vs. 58 percent who say they are landline subscribers. Among mobile phone users, 24 percent consider it their "primary means" of communications and 41 percent say it "provides them with a sense of personal security."
The survey was conducted online Aug. 9-14 and included 1,125 U.S. adults.