SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — With a majority of Bay Area residents relying on smartphones, a new poll found widespread support for upgraded communications networks. The survey also found a majority in favor of improving the area’s aging energy infrastructure.

According to the 1,000 residents surveyed in the 2014 Bay Area Council Poll, more than 60 percent of respondents said they relied on their smartphones either “a great deal” or moderately.

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More than 42 percent of those surveyed said they had no landline at home, and another 20 percent said they are unlikely to keep their landline in five years.

The survey found more than 70 percent support the installation of new cell towers or fiber optic cables in their city. While 40 percent of respondents are concerned about health impacts about new cellphone antennas, the council found 58 percent said local governments should not let those objections block the approval of new equipment.

When it comes to the power grid, the council found 74 percent agreed that upgrading energy infrastructure is necessary. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed believed gas and electric lines are outdated and at risk of failing during natural disasters, such as earthquakes.

While Bay Area residents are concerned about the reliability of energy infrastructure, respondents were not as supportive about paying for upgrades. More than 40 percent said they were not willing to pay a little more on their bills, even if they knew the money was going to safety upgrades and more reliable service.

The pollsters also asked about variable pricing for electricity, a plan that would charge higher rates during peak hours. Seventy percent of those surveyed said they would sign up for variable pricing if it saves them money.

EMC Research of Oakland conducted the poll.


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