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08/02/2021 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Telecom Report Shows Technology Driving Consumer Choice

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s wireline market continued to follow the national trend with landline phone use decreasing as consumers opt for a variety of competitive services, according to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry.

“The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have heightened the demand for smart home devices and as network demands increase, Florida’s telecom industry continues to be innovative and engage more customers,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “Telecommunications services continue to expand, enabling future industry growth and helping Florida’s economy gain momentum as competitors meet demands in a market where affordability, choice, service reliability, and greater customer satisfaction are paramount.”  

The 2021 report shows consumers continue to move from landline telephone service to wireless and cable/Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The data also indicates that residential migration to wireless technologies continues, while business customers are still migrating to VoIP services in large numbers. Carriers reported approximately 1.4 million total landlines in Florida for 2020, about 14.1 percent fewer than in 2019.

For the tenth year in a row, the total number of business landlines exceeded residential   landlines, although both experienced significant drops in 2020. Residential landlines declined 13.4 percent, while business landlines declined 14.5 percent. CenturyLink experienced a 17.6 percent decline in residential lines during 2020, while AT&T only declined 13 percent. Frontier also experienced the biggest residential loss with a 19.5 percent decline in residential access lines during the same period.

As in past years, wireless, VoIP and broadband drove the telecommunications markets in 2020.  According to the most recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data, there are an estimated 22 million wireless subscriptions in Florida and 4.6 million VoIP connections.

The demand for wireless broadband service continues to grow with emerging technology, and the 2021 report suggests that the fifth generation of wireless connectivity, known as “5G” will “bring a more robust broadband experience to wireless services.”

Delivered to the Florida Legislature by August 1 each year, the PSC report compiled data from Florida telecommunications companies for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2020.  Access the entire report here.

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