Perhaps 14% of U.S. Homes Actually Have Usable Line-Powered Voice Service

Fewer than one percent of U.S. households make phone calls through traditional line powered landline service using only corded telephones, and also have no mobile service, a study by RVA has found.

About 58 percent of U.S. homes now subscribe to fixed network voice services.

Of those landline voice accounts, less than half subscribe to line-powered copper service.

More than half of those customers use a VoIP service that is interrupted by a local power outage.

So perhaps 28 percent of homes buy line-powered voice service, while 28 percent buy VoIP services that, by definition, do not work when Internet access is disrupted by a local power outage.

But only about half of the customers with line-powered service have a corded phone, according to the Fiber to the Home Council. That likely includes both VoIP and line-powered homes, though.

So perhaps 14 percent of U.S. homes might have line-powered phone service that works during a local power outage, if corded phones are attached. But perhaps only half of those homes actually use corded phones.

The fixed voice service abandonment rate also is quite high.  Some 17 percent of fixed network copper consumers said there were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to drop the service over the next year.

The RVA study also suggests that 75 percent of consumers are likely to turn to their mobile devices in an emergency when the local power is out.

The key implications, in terms of continuity of service, are important. Even when the network itself is working, a loss of local electrical power will disable phone service for the overwhelming percentage of U.S. households subscribing to voice services that promise they work even when local electrical power is lost.

RVA  conducted 2,000 online interviews in February 2015.

The RVA study also illustrated the growth in use of mobile phones as the preferred way of using voice services. The percentage of households with mobile service stands at 89 percent and is growing, RVA says.
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