Posted by: mollyrossiter | March 13, 2009

Cutting the cord

At least 1 in 5 Iowa households has given up the land line and gone cell-only, according to a new study released this week by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga.

Iowa is one of nine states — along with Nebraska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee — and the District of Columbia to share that ranking. Just two states — Oklahoma and Utah — have a higher percentage of cell-only households, with at least 26 percent or households giving up the land line.

What’s the draw?

For many, it’s financial. When Stephanie Filer Holub first gave up her land line six years ago, her friends and family thought she was crazy. For her, though, it just made good financial sense — she already had a cell phone when she moved out of her parents’ home, and didn’t want to pay for both a cell phone and a land line.

The choice was financial for Sean McCoy, too, who along with his two roommates has just a cell phone.

“I think back to when I was younger and when you’re just starting out you don’t have the money to spend on a land line and then again on a cell phone,” said McCoy, 29. “It’s a financial decision where you have to choose which one to have, you can’t always afford to have both.”

For some, the question of cell vs. land line is more a matter of convenience.

Beth Carter, 53, first got a cell phone when she and her family were living in the Chicago area and she had an hourlong commute to work. With an elderly mother and teenagers living at home, she and her husband, Gregg, wanted to be more connected to the house while they were on the road.

When they moved, they made the decision not to set up the land line.

“We figured why pay for a family plan cell phone and a land line,” she said.

For Amber Mussman, 30, moving around made it inconvenient to keep changing land line information, so she just stopped.

“It became too complicated to keep a land line going,” she said. “It became too much of a hassle, changing numbers or having phones set up here and there when I could just keep my cell phone wherever I went.”

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