Iowa ranks number-five in the nation for percentage of households that have clipped landlines and gone wireless.
More than one in five Iowans are now all-cellular, compared to states like Vermont, where only one in 20 homes are wire-free.
Greg Schwartz, an I-T professional in Coralville, says the technology makes perfect sense for a predominantly rural state like Iowa.
“That is exactly the reason that we would be going that route,” Schwartz says.
“More of our population is in rural communities and services haven’t always extended out into those areas, certainly not the free wireless internet you have in the downtown areas, for instance. Just getting Internet was very difficult for many farming and rural communities.”
While there’s a perception on the coasts that people in ag-based fly-over states don’t embrace modern technologies, Schwartz says the opposite is true and he’s never far from his cell — or his business partners and clients.
Schwartz says, “For me personally, I end up working more because I have a cell phone that has email and Internet connectivity, so I am basically on the clock 24 hours a day because it’s a device that’s on my person, or near my person, all of the time.” He admits his household is still “wired,” but only as a matter of convenience.
“We still have a landline at home,” Schwartz says. “It’s kind of a struggle whether or not we should keep it. I guess the main reason we keep our landline is because most people still have our home phone number and you can’t port your home phone number over to a cell phone.”
The study is from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. It finds 22.2% of Iowa households are wireless, ranking Iowa fifth in the nation.
The top state is Oklahoma at 26.2%, followed by Utah, Nebraska and Arkansas. The least-wired states are: Rhode Island, South Dakota, Delaware, Connecticut and lastly, Vermont — with only 5.1% cell-only.