Consumers living in wireless-only households are more likely to be younger and poorer than those living in households with a wireline phone. The findings were part of a new study released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Young people who have grown up with their cell phones seemingly surgically attached to them seem to be less inclined to get an ?old-fashioned? landline phone as they get out on their own.
The study found that one in four adults aged 18-24 and 30% of adults aged 25-29 lived in households with only wireless telephones. Furthermore, as age increases, the likelihood of having a wireline phone increased correspondingly. Income level also plays a role in the decision to go wireless-only, says the CDC. 22.4% of adults living in poverty were wireless-only, a rate significantly above that of adults living above the poverty line. The percentage without health insurance coverage at the time of the interview among wireless-only adults (31.1%) was twice as high as the percentage among adults living in landline households (14.9%). Compared with adults living in landline households, wireless-only adults were more likely to have experienced financial barriers to obtaining needed health care, and they were less likely to have a usual place to go for medical care. Wireless-only adults were also less likely to have received an influenza vaccination during the previous year.
The implications of the study's findings are heightened by the fact that the study also found that the wireless-only trend is growing. Since 2003, the percentage of adults with wireless service only has increased from 2.9% to 11.8% in the last six months of 2006. Legislators and regulators should keep these facts in mind when considering changes to the law that could raise the price of wireless services, since additional taxes could hit those who can least afford the increased costs especially hard. To read the full CDC study, click here.
"Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org"