The share of Americans with broadband at home has plateaued, and more rely only on their smartphones for online access
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. First, home broadband adoption seems to have plateaued. 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. This change moves home broadband adoption to where it was in 2012.
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.
Third, 15% of American adults report they have become “cord cutters” – meaning they have abandoned paid cable or satellite television service. 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.
1. Home broadband adoption: Modest decline from 2013 to 2015
2. The growing value people place on broadband
3. Barriers to broadband adoption: Cost is now a substantial challenge for many non-users
4. One-in-seven Americans are television “cord cutters”
Read the report by John B. Horrigan and Maeve Duggan from Pew Research Center Internet, Science, & Tech at http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/12/21/home-broadband-2015/