Okla. wireless use highest rate in nation - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Okla. wireless use highest rate in nation

Lawton_Do you remember when all your phone calls were made on landlines?  That method of communication is decreasing steadily thanks to the cell phone - especially in Oklahoma.  A recent Federal study says more than a quarter of households in Oklahoma are wireless only - the highest rate in the nation, along with Utah.

Folks who follow this trend aren't hard to find, and 7News had more difficulty finding people using landlines.  Texting, talking, and taking pictures on cell phones can all be done while handling other daily business.  "My husband has a cell phone, I have a cell phone, I have family in California - it is much more feasible, much more convenient.  We can take it with us wherever we go," said Penny Tracy.  "I am away from home 1,400 miles, so it is easier for me to have my cell phone and keep in touch with my family back home," said Godfrey Ferguson.

The convenience of using a cell phone is an advantage, but there are other reasons some people have decided to go wireless and ditch their landlines.  Some people who have gone digital say the caller ID is a benefit, others say it's cheaper. 

John Wolfenbarger sells landline services, and says he has seen a steady decline in that part of his business.  "We had about 240 customers and now we are down to 92, so that is about two-thirds," he said.  He says he doesn't see landlines disappearing forever, rather being used for other purposes.  "We probably won't because a lot of people use it for their computers - you got to have it for that," he said. 

With all of the benefits cell phones provide, they are more appealing than a landline for a lot of consumers.  "I can take video of my daughter and send it to my mom in California - it works out wonderful.  She enjoys it, we like it, its great," said Tracy.

The study also says more young tech-savvy adults will follow this cell-phone-only trend, and even some seniors say they use their cell phones as their primary means of communication.  The survey was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gathering health statistics through telephone surveys - landline only.  It said that since so many people are turning to wireless communication only, it was more difficult to get enough accurate readings.
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