Survey finds most New Yorkers own landlines

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3/4/2012

By Ivan Pereira

Despite being tied to our mobile devices, some New Yorkers are still holding on to their landlines, according to a new survey, but experts say they won’t last for long.

According to a poll by the Siena College Research Institute released Wednesday, 69% of city residents own both a landline and cellphone and 12% just own a landline.

Don Levy, the director of the polling center, said people still like to have the extra security of the landline, but with mobile infrastructure improving every day, there are fewer reasons to remain tethered to the phone jack.

“We appreciate the safety of that technology. That said you can’t seem to stop the avalanche of penetration [of cellphones],” he said.

Siena, which collaborated with AT&T for the survey, interviewed 1,404 state residents between Nov. 16 and 23. Forty-three percent of the respondents lived in the city. The study looked at users of all mobile networks and has a margin of error of + or — 2.6%.

The survey painted a detailed picture of what gadgets New Yorkers are using. For example, the iPhone edges out Android 54% to 42% as the preferred smartphone choice in the Big Apple.

When New Yorkers are behind the wheel, their phone habits tend to focus on one thing, getting to point B.

About 86% of New Yorkers use their phones for directions, however, only a third use wireless technology, like bluetooth, to connect their device to their car, according to the survey.

About 28% of the city responders said they use their landlines predominantly when it comes to making calls and Levy predicted that number will decline over the next few years.

Grant David, 22, of Brooklyn, said he didn’t see any need for getting a landline.

“People use cellphones for everything now,” he said.

Erin Starkweather, 23, of Manhattan, is also landline free, even at her job.

“My parents still have one, but the only calls they get are probably from telemarketers,” she said.

In addition to smartphones becoming better and better for work and play, Levy said the city will continue to beef up its wireless infrastructure to meet the needs of smartphone users.

“Virtually everyone will expect, ‘not only can I have three bars wherever I go [I can] have uninterrupted wireless as well,” he said.

Last year, the city announced plans to retrofit 10,000 pay phone kiosks into WI-FI hot spots and aims to have 4,000 units up and running by 2018. Currently, 78 subway stations are wired for cellphone access and more are planned in the near future.

 

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