Telecommunications access is a basic necessity for older adults. It enables them to maintain social contact, preserve their health and safety, and summon emergency assistance. Older adults are more likely to have a traditional landline phone and a mobile phone. Many younger people have “cut the cord” and only have a mobile phone.
The largest telecommunications companies once provided only telephone service over traditional copper wires. Now they use fiber-optic networks. These networks can offer a wide range of services, including video programming and broadband internet services. Similarly, the largest cable television providers have expanded beyond their traditional video service. Most offer residential voice telephone options. Rapid technological change has transformed these local companies. They have become competing providers of bundles: broadband internet, landline, video, and wireless services.