When the phone rings, it's likely as not going to be a cell phone.

The Illinois Commerce Commission says 48 percent of the state's households are wireless-only. And, says AT&T Illinois president Paul La Schiazza, most of the customers with landlines are really using modern voiceover Internet protocol (VOIP) that comes as part of their Internet service.

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“When you combine wireless and (VOIP), there's really only about 18 percent of the households left that are using the plain old copper line,” says La Schiazza. A longtime bone of contention between AT&T and the government is the phone company is required to make the copper-based technology available to 100 percent of the customers, even though fewer than one in five use it.

“Eventually, everyone will be on a new modern landline, a wireless connection, or a combination of the two,” says La Schiazza, “and it's just happening on its own.”


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