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18% of US Households Have Replaced Landlines with Cell Phones

Date: 1/23/2009 12:09:46 PM

The percentage of American households which have “cut the cord,” replacing their landlines with mobile phones, increased to 18% in the first half of 2008, according to a recently released survey. That’s up from 16% of U.S. households in early 2007, and just 7% in early 2005.

Leading the trend towards cord cutting are households made up of unrelated adults (e.g. roommates, unmarried couples, etc.), 63% of which use cell phones only. Renters and low-income people are also far more likely to disconnect their landlines, the survey suggests.

The ongoing recession could fuel this trend, according to report author, Stephen Blumberg, a senior scientist at the U.S. government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There’s clearly a reason to give up a landline phone if budgets are tight,” Blumberg said in an interview. “Given the current economic environment, I’d not be surprised to see more and more people give up their landline phones for economic reasons.”

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