For the sixth year in a row, total wireline business access lines exceeded total residential lines, according to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry. The report confirmed that Florida consumers continue to shift from wireline service to wireless and VoIP services; data also indicates that residential migration may be on the decline.
“The market consolidation trend continued last year with several telecom mergers and acquisitions, as the industry displays dynamic growth and innovation,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “The number and variety of competitive choices among all types of service providers suggest that competition is positively impacting Florida’s telecommunications market.”
AT&T, CenturyLink, and Frontier Florida—Florida’s largest incumbent local exchange carriers providing traditional wireline service—continued their access line losses in the national wireline market. During 2016, CenturyLink experienced a six percent decline in residential access lines, while AT&T declined 22 percent and Frontier declined 25 percent for the same period in the Florida market.
AT&T and Frontier’s mix of residential and business wire lines are slowly shifting toward business lines, which now comprises approximately 48 percent of their access lines. Competitors have almost 98 percent of their accounts in the business sector.
As in past years, VoIP and broadband drove the telecommunications markets in 2016. There are an estimated 21.1 million wireless handsets in Florida and an additional 4.2 million cable VoIP subscribers. Over 73 percent of Florida households have a broadband connection with download speeds of at least 3 megabits per second.
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, 2016. Access the entire report here.
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