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AARP National Survey of Residents Age 40+: Summary of Opinions on Telecommunications Issues

This survey of Americans ages 40 and older was conducted to gauge their experiences with and opinions on landline and wireless telephone service as well as their support for protecting consumers and ensuring federal and state oversight of all telecommunications services. 

Key findings include: 

Landline Use:

  • Most Americans (70%) age 40 and older currently have landline telephone service in their homes.
  • The majority (80%) of American landline users have used this type of phone service for 15 years or more. An additional 15 percent of Americans say they have had landline phone service, “As long as I can remember”.
  • Almost 80 percent of Americans say they are not too or not at all likely to disconnect landline service in the next 12 months.

 Cellular Phone Use:

  • Most Americans (91%) age 40 and older own a cell phone.
  • Most (64%) cell phone users say their primary reason for having cell phone service is convenience and being able to make calls from anywhere.

Lifeline Telephone Assistance Program:

  • Only five percent of Americans surveyed are enrolled in the Lifeline Telephone Assistance Program.

Consumer Protections:

  • Approximately three-fourths of landline service users nationally either strongly or somewhat agree with having consumer protections that apply to all landline services regardless of the type of technology that is used to deliver the service to consumers.

This combination of landline and cellular random digit dial (RDD) survey was conducted by Woelfel Research, Inc. between December 17, 2012 and January 11, 2013 and yielded 801 complete interviews. For more information, contact Jennifer Sauer at 202-434-6207.

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