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U.S. Homes Cutting The Cord

New York — More than 17 percent, or 20 million, of all U.S. households lack landline phones and use only a cellphone for their home-phone needs, a Nielsen Company survey concluded.

The research suggested that 20 percent of U.S. households could be wireless-only by the end of the year, the company said.

The faltering U.S. economy is contributing to landline replacement because consumers hoping to cut spending are looking at their home-phone landline bill, which averages $40 per month per line, Nielsen said. In fact, Nielsen found cord cutters tend to have lower income levels. Of all cord cutters, 59 percent have household incomes of $40,000 or less.

Nielsen also determined that:

·         smaller households with just one or two residents are more likely to cut the cord than larger households;

·         moving or changing jobs contributes to the decision to drop landline service. Thirty-one percent of cord cutters moved before they dropped landline service, and 22 percent changed jobs; and

·         although cord cutters tend to use their mobile phones more than landline households, they still save an average $33 per month in a household with only one subscriber, minus $6.69 for each additional wireless subscriber in the household.

Turning exclusively to wireless isn’t for everyone, however. Ten percent of landline customers have experimented with cellular-only communications in their household but returned to landline service, Nielsen said. The primary reason is the need to use a landline for such services as security systems, satellite TV, pay-per-view, fax machines and the like.