People in the Northeast Sure Do Love Their Landlines

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At the LA Times, Michael Hiltzik writes:

Although customers have been rapidly abandoning their landline phones for wireless and Internet-based service, more than 18% of California households still relied on landlines for all or most of their phone service as of 2012, according to federal government estimates.

Huh. Only 18 percent? That’s a lot lower than I would have thought. And that got me curious. Which states have the highest percentage of households that have given up on landlines completely? Which states have the lowest percentage? Here’s the answer:

I don’t see much connecting the top ten. I guess they’re a little more rural than average, but that’s about it. The bottom ten, however, are exclusively from the northeast. And more recent surveys confirm this: At the end of 2014, about 30 percent of households in the northeast were wireless-only compared to 50 percent in every other region. That’s a pretty big difference.

This is just idle curiosity, but I wonder what the deal is here? Something regulatory? Why would the entire northeast be so dedicated to their landlines?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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