Competition from wireless, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and broadband services drove the telecommunications market in 2014, according to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry. Continuing the recent trend, Florida consumers steadily migrated from traditional wireline service to wireless and cable VoIP services.
“Telecommunications competition in Florida is flourishing and that benefits consumers,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “We’re on track for continued healthy competition in this industry as well as a growing Florida economy–great news for the state’s consumers.”
AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon remained the largest Incumbent Local Exchange Companies providing traditional wireline service in Florida, and all three reported decreases last year. Over the last decade, residential wirelines have dropped by 78 percent or by about 6 million lines. As residents move to wireless services, businesses are following suit; carriers report a 17 percent decline in wireline service last year.
By comparison, wireless subscribers in Florida reached more than 18.9 million, meaning there are nearly as many wireless handsets in Florida as there are people. Last year, participation in the federal Lifeline Assistance telephone discount program by eligible Florida customers increased almost 3 percent. The Federal Communications Commission reports a Florida telephone penetration rate of 93.5 percent, suggesting the overwhelming majority of residents can afford telephone service.
Delivered to the Florida Legislature by August 1 each year, the PSC report compiled data from Florida telecommunications companies for a 12-month period ending December 31, 2014. Access the entire report here.
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