Cutting the Cord: Households Dropping Land Lines for Cell Phones by ProQuest

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Montana's landline telephone service providers are losing active lines at an annual rate of 2%-7%, estimated Geoffrey Feiss, general manager of the Montana Telecommunications Association. At the same time, Montana's largest wireless provider, Verizon, invested more than $125 million in growing Montana's wireless network over the past five years and reported wireless phone usage up an average of 32% in 2006. Still, much of Montana remains without reliable cell service. Montana has a lot of rural miles to cover, said Bonnie Lorang, general manager of Montana Independent Telecommunications Association, and larger companies tend to follow the highways and urban centers. Nationwide, 21.6% of adults living in poverty are wireless-only, according to the National Center for Health Statistics December report. Nationwide, 30.6% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 34.5% of 25- to 29-year-olds are wireless-only, while only 8% of 45- to 65-year-olds are wireless only, according to the National Center for Health Statistics December report.

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