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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

January 21, 1998


The FCC today released its latest report on telephone subscribership levels in the United States. The report presents subscribership statistics based on a survey conducted by the Census Bureau in November 1997. Statistics from that survey estimated that 93.8% of all households in the United States had telephone service. This is down 0.1% from the last report, for July 1997, and also down 0.1% from November 1996. These decreases are not statistically significant. The report also shows different subscribership levels by state, income level, race, age, household size, and employment status.

In November 1997, the telephone subscribership penetration rate was 77.2% for households with annual incomes below $5,000, while the rate for households with incomes between $60,000 and $74,999 was 98.9%. By state, the penetration rates ranged from 87.2% in New Mexico to 97.7% in Pennsylvania. Households headed by whites had a penetration rate of 95.0%, while those headed by blacks had a rate of 86.6% and those headed by Hispanics had a rate of 86.8%. By age, penetration rates ranged from 85.7% for households headed by a person under 25 to 96.7% for households headed by a person between 65 and 69. Households with 6 or more people had a pentration rate of 91.1%, compared to a rate of 95.0% for households with 4 or 5 people. The penetration rate for unemployed adults was 86.8%, while the rate for employed adults was 95.4%.

This report is updated three times a year and is available in the Common Carrier Bureau's public reference room, 2000 M Street, NW, Room 575, Washington, DC. Copies may be purchased by calling International Transcription Service at (202) 857-3800. This report can also be downloaded [file name: SUBS1197.ZIP or SUBS1197.PDF] from the FCC-State Link internet site, which can be reached at http://www.fcc.gov/ccb/stats on the World Wide Web. The report can also be downloaded from the FCC-State Link computer bulletin board system at (202) 418-0241.

For further information, contact Alexander Belinfante at (202) 418-0944.

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