Recently a couple of interesting stories have illustrated the major changes that student mobile phone use has brought to school campuses across the country:
- In Chelmsford, Massachusetts, parents jammed phone lines at the local high school moments after a security lockdown began. Security personnel were looking for a suspicious man in the building. Parents were tipped off to the situation by surreptitious calls and text messages from their mobile phone-wielding children. [ via Boston.com ]
- At American University, campus telecommunications is de-installing PBX phones in many dormitory rooms due to the growth of mobile use on campus. In five years, student mobile phone use on U.S. college campuses went from 33 to 90 percent, according to a market research firm. [ via WashingtonPost.com ]
In my opinion, neither of these articles carry through to two obvious conclusions:
- educational institutions represent the leading edge of mobile technology adoption,
- Regional Bell Operating Companies are likely to be dealing with problems in suburbia soon unless they deliver the fastest, most cost effective broadband service available to the home and get their existing customers to adopt it before they decide to go with the cable company or electric utility instead.
I think people will scrutinize the need for a "home phone" whenever they move. Whether they switch to VOIP or just designate a cell phone as the de facto home phone, it's still a loss for the RBOCs in many respects unless they get the broadband business. Watch out if 3G and Bluetooth become widely available.