End of the Line? Five million households no longer use their home phone


LANDLINE telephones are “in terminal decline” according to new research which shows four million UK homes hung up their handsets in the past 20 years.

The research has shown that in 2019 every household spent just 48 minutes per week on a landline on average.

But just two years later that figure has slumped to an average of just 35 minutes per week.

Brits are falling out of love with the landline. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The number of households that use a landline has fallen by four million since 2000. This shows that landline use is drastically declining.

Part of the reason for this decline is that, according to research by Uswitch, calls are more expensive on landlines than they are on a mobile. For example, 59% of people who have both mobile phones and a landline say that using a mobile to make phone calls is a cheaper option.

The research has discovered that landline use fell during the lockdown, with more than a quarter of households using their landline less. However, 15% of people say that they have been using their landline more often during the lockdown.

Digital technology has become more trusted than the landline. Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

Nick Baker, a telecoms expert says: “With the rise of mobile phones and network improving all the time, landlines are not the necessity they once were.

“Many customers – especially the younger generations don’t see the need for landlines, and find it odd that they have to pay line rental in order to have a broadband connection.

Nuisance calls have been a problem on landlines for years, and unfortunately they are not getting better, with nearly one in four households reporting the last call they received was from a scammer or sales person.”

According to the USwitch survey, over a third of households have registered to the telephone preference service to avoid scam calls. Most younger people have stopped using the landline altogether.

The older generation, however, does not seem to be part of this decline. 95% of over 65 year olds owning a landline compared to just 52% of 18 to 24 year olds, say USwitch.

Landline use is useful for people who live in the countryside where it is difficult to get a good signal. Most people who live in rural areas own a landline.

Uswitch recommends that people who receive many nuisance calls should register with the telephone preference service. If you think you are receiving a scam call hang up immediately.