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New numbers on broadband use

29 Aug, 2013

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released its Home Broadband 2013 report, using a national survey conducted in April and May, 2013. Based on a sample of 2252 adults, Pew found good news and not-so-good news.

At that time, approximately 70 percent of Americans reported having home broadband of some kind, “... a small but statistically significant rise from the 66% of adults who said they had home broadband in April 2012.” By broadband, they mean some form of wireline Internet connection (cable, fiber or DSL) that is not dial-up.

The report finds that 56 percent of Americans have a smartphone, and 10 percent of the population relies entirely on smartphones for Internet access. Here is how the 80 percent breaks down:

“If we include that 10% of Americans with the 70% who have traditional broadband, that means that 80% of Americans have either a broadband connection, a smartphone, or both. Here is how the 80% breaks down:

  • 46% of Americans have both a home broadband connection and a smartphone
  • 24% have a home broadband connection, but not a smartphone
  • 10% have a smartphone, but not a home broadband connection

The remaining 20% of Americans have neither a home broadband connection nor a smartphone.”

The one surprising finding was that three percent of Americans continue to use dial-up Internet. “Many dial-up users cite cost and access as the main reasons they don’t have broadband, but for adults who don’t use the internet at all, a lack of interest is often the main issue,” said the report’s overview.

Of course, broadband access doesn’t happen randomly. “We’ve consistently found that age, education, and household income are among the strongest factors associated with home broadband adoption,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Research Associate for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and lead author of the report.

In fact, the divide is pretty emphatic: “Almost nine in ten college graduates have high-speed internet at home, compared with just 37% of adults who have not completed high school.”

In 2010, Pew analyzed the consequences. “... Pew Internet,” they report, “found that Americans generally feel that individuals who do not have broadband at home are at a major disadvantage when it comes to finding out about job opportunities or learning career skills, or when getting health information, learning new things for personal enrichment, and using government services.”

As Speed Matters has reported recently, that hasn’t changed.

Home Broadband 2013, overview (Pew Internet, Aug. 26, 2013)

Home Broadband 2013, full report (Pew Internet, Aug. 26, 2013)


This is a sample

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