Home Broadband 2015

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

High-Speed Internet Is a Luxury.

Three notable changes relating to digital access and digital divides are occurring in the realm of personal connectivity, according to new findings from Pew Research Center surveys. It now stands at 67% of Americans, down slightly from 70% in 2013, a small but statistically significant difference which could represent a blip or might be a more prolonged reality.

Second, this downtick in home high-speed adoption has taken place at the same time there has been an increase in “smartphone-only” adults – those who own a smartphone that they can use to access the internet, but do not have traditional broadband service at home. Today smartphone adoption has reached parity with home broadband adoption (68% of Americans now report that they own a smartphone), and 13% of Americans are “smartphone-only” – up from 8% in 2013. Some of the most significant changes in these adoption patterns are taking place among African Americans, those with relatively low household incomes and those living in rural areas. Many of these cord cutters say that the availability of televised content from the internet and other sources is a factor in their move away from subscription television services. Overall, “advanced internet access” – that is, those with either a smartphone or a home broadband subscription – has changed little since 2013.

Those who reported making anywhere from under $20,000 per year to $75,000 per year were consistent in how rapidly they’re dropping broadband, but the people who made the least money were far more likely to report more smartphone-only Internet connections in the past two years. As these changes have unfolded, two other shifts underscore the tension between the potential benefits that digital technologies provide and the day-to-day financial constraints of many households.

Fully three-quarters of cable-television “cord-cutters” are smartphone owners, a higher percentage than overall smartphone owners in the United States. Among non-broadband adopters, 33% cite the monthly cost of service as the main reason they lack broadband at home, with an additional 10% citing the cost of a computer as their main reason for not having broadband service. Today, two-thirds (65%) of non-adopters say that lacking home broadband service is a major disadvantage in at least one of these areas, compared with just under half (48%) who said so in 2010. There are other signs that people are changing connection patterns: 15% of American adults are “cord cutters” who used to have cable or satellite TV, but currently do not The changes in home broadband and smartphone connectivity are not the only shifting trends in connectivity among Americans. In addition, just 25% of non-adopters are interested in subscribing to broadband service in the future, while 70% say they are not interested in doing so.

Most of the material in this report – specifically the findings on barriers to broadband adoption, how people view lack of broadband as a disadvantage, and cord cutting – is based on a national telephone survey of 2,001 Americans ages 18 and older conducted between June 10 and July 12, 2015.

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