Illinois Broadband Connections Outnumber Landlines
The number of broadband Internet connections in Illinois has exceeded the number of phone landlines for the first time, a sign that the use of traditional phone service continues to decline.
The number of high-speed Internet connections in the state rose to 6.4 million last year, while the number of phone landlines dropped 31 percent to 6.2 million, The State Journal-Register of Springfield reported. But both numbers are dwarfed by the number of Illinois wireless subscribers: about 11.6 million last year.
Federal and state regulators released the figures Monday.
Illinois legislators rewrote the state's telecommunications law last year to include three landline options with cheap rates that can't be increased.
AT&T and other communications companies supported the bill, which lifted many state regulations on landlines. Supporters of the overhaul said it would bring new jobs and allow companies to focus on developing broadband and other technologies.
Jim Zolnierek, the Illinois Commerce Commission's director of telecommunications, told the Journal-Register that he expected "to see these same trends continue going forward."
(Photo courtesy of Anderson Mancini/Flickr)