As VoIP tax and telecom tax service providers, we find telecom to be fascinating. It seems not that long ago when 96%+ of all Americans had a landline telephone. In fact, if you DIDN'T have a landline phone, it was a sign that something was wrong. It was tough to get a loan without a landline phone.
Here are amazing stats presented by the Technology Advisory Council to the FCC.
- By 2014, the United States will have fewer than 42M access lines
- Access line losses were nearly 6.6 million between 2Q09 and 2Q10, a drop of 7.3%.
- By 2014 US consumers will have 31.6 million VoIP lines accounting for 42.5% of all U.S. access lines
- Fixed lines continue to decline; mobile is the preferred choice for voice communication
- More than 25% of U.S. consumers aged 18 or older have already given up their voice landline for voice wireless‐only service.
The biggest stat of all is that by 2018, only 6% of Americans are expected to have traditional landline service. So, 2018 is expected to be the last year of the PSTN (and its tax revenue).
Perhaps the supreme irony is that in the early days of the internet, families would get a second phone line for their modems. Phone companies (even the term "phone company" seems archaic) saw PSTN line growth exploded. That same desire for digital and mobile communication is leading the PSTN's demise.
There's a moral in there somewhere....