N.D. cell phone use outpaces landlinesFARGO — Mobile mania has surpassed another benchmark in the upper Great Plains. The North Dakota Public Service Commission now estimates more than a half-million wireless phones are in use across the state.
By: By Kristen M. Daum, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Mobile mania has surpassed another benchmark in the upper Great Plains.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission now estimates more than a half-million wireless phones are in use across the state.
The figure reflects a yearslong trend in North Dakotans’ phone preferences.
The number of active landlines across the state has continually declined, with another 9,400 lines lost — or 3 percent — since 2010.
At the same time, the number of wireless phones in North Dakota jumped another 31,000 — or 6 percent — over the past year, the PSC said.
More than 63 percent of the state’s phone lines are wireless, which the PSC touted as an accomplishment of the state’s improving telecommunications infrastructure and competition among the available wireless carriers.
The wireless trend reflects residents’ view that mobile phones are “a convenient alternative” to the traditional landlines of the past, said PSC Chairman Tony Clark.
“The day has clearly passed where the wireless phone was viewed solely as a luxury item,” Clark said.
A national health survey this spring indicated more than a third of North Dakota households used exclusively wireless telephones.
The PSC regulates utilities, telecommunications, and energy operations in the state but has limited oversight of wireless companies. The Federal Communications Commission assists in that regulation.
Kristen Daum is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.