SEATTLE – A new poll by PEMCO Insurance finds many homes in Washington and Oregon still maintain landlines. Sixty-eight percent of Washingtonians and 58 percent of people living in Portland say they have working landlines, many of whom use them regularly.
The numbers bucks the national trend that shows a steady increase in dependency on wireless phones as a household’s sole telephone device. According to the Centers for Disease Control, wireless-only households have outnumbered landline-only households since 2009. About half of households use both regularly.Older people were twice as likely as younger people to have landlines.
“We were surprised to learn that in such a tech-savvy corner of the country, so many households still use landlines,” PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg said. “But the rationale for keeping them seems to favor safety over other issues like cost and convenience.”
A third of people with landlines say they keep them in case of emergencies. That’s because landlines aren’t as vulnerable to outages, network failures or battery issues. Another reason for keeping a landline is convenience, since they use their phone numbers for services and don’t want to change them.