States Losing Landline Subscribers

The recent 2000-2005 FCC wireline (POTS) subscriber numbers are interesting – the number of POTS lines decreased. This in and of itself is not new and of much interest.

What is interesting is where the decrease happened – Kansas. The largest decrease (19%) happened in Kansas, a state not generally thought of as a technical leader. But, one should never underestimate the technical sophistication of the modern combine, most already have wireless 802.11 links back to the barn, VoIP is a logical next step for intra-farm communication.

The next largest decrease (13%) happened in New York. New York has a large mobile urban technophile population and so the numbers for that state are somewhat expected.

Michigan was also a surprise with the third largest decrease (12.5%). I’m originally from Michigan and still have a large number of relatives there; one generally wouldn’t put the state at the forefront of technology.

Illinois came in 8th with a 10.6% decrease. Chicago is a major urban area and the University of Illinois is a technological leader. I would have expected Illinois to rank higher.

Surprisingly, California did not make the top rakings. The only explanation I can think of is my own situation. That as people moved to California from other states, they left their landline in their old state and didn’t get a new one when they arrived. Thereby counting the decrease in the old state and not crediting California.

The future of POTS deserves watching and as technology advances Congress should reexamine whether spending Universal Service Funds (USF) on wireline solutions is the most cost effective use of tax dollars.

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  • keefe007

    Link to data?