A recent study by Ofcom shows that the number of connected households in the UK has increased dramatically over the last 10 year s from 25% in 2000 to 76% in 2011.
91% of UK households now have a mobile phone, and one in seven no longer have a landline connected at all, and only have a mobile connection now. The drop-off of landline usage isn’t particularly steep (93% in 2000, 81% in 2011) but I would suggest this is alrgely down to high percentage of ADSL broadband connections that require a landline phone to be installed. I have highlighted require because there is no real requirement, broadband services can be delivered over the copper telephone line with no voice contract in place from a technical point of view, but then how could BT and other ADSL suppliers make their additional £12/month?
I am one of the seven that no longer have a voice line at home, my internet is supplied by Virgin Media and that’s all I pay for, no phone line, no rental, no Call Minder and no minutes allowance. I have a local number, and a physical phone in my house, but it’s a SIP number, it costs me nothing to setup or have on a monthly basis. It’s primarily there for incoming calls (which are free) and if I want to make outgoing calls from it I can pre-pay credit onto it at about the same costs as Skype calls.
What about 999 calls I hear you say? The great scare tactic of BT. I have registered my home address with my SIP provider and if I make a 999 call the correct address is automatically passed on to the emergency services. My router and phone are on a UPS so even in a power cut I should be fine, and if that fails I still have my mobile phone to fall back on.
I suspect if the above survey had asked people how much they use their landline anymore, and if they could get rid of it and just have their internet service, the numbers might be slightly different. Would you get rid of your landline and go internet only if you could?