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80 Percent in U.S. Have Broadband, Smartphones or Both: Pew


By Ken Magill

As of May of this year, 70 percent of Americans 18 or older had broadband access at home, according to a recently released survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

This represents a slight uptick from last year when Pew Internet determined 66 percent of American adults had home broadband.

However, the figure does not include smartphones, according to Pew Internet.

“[S]martphones are qualitatively distinct enough that we do not include them in our standard definition of what constitutes a ‘broadband user,’” the study said.

“At the same time, smartphones do offer a potential source of online access to individuals who might otherwise lack the ability to go online at all from within the home, even if that access is somewhat limited in comparison,” the study continued.

According to the survey, 10 percent of Americans indicate they do not have home broadband access but that they do own a smartphone. As a result, according to Pew Internet, 32 percent of non-broadband users have smartphones.

Taking smartphone users who don’t have broadband at home into account means that 80 percent of American adults have either a smartphone, broadband at home or both, according to Pew Internet.

Forty six percent have both; 24 percent have home broadband but not a smartphone; and 10 percent have a smartphone but no broadband, according to Pew Internet.

Meanwhile, the demographic factors most associated with home broadband access are age, education and income, according to Pew Internet.

For example, almost nine in ten college graduates have high-speed internet at home, compared with just 37 percent of adults who have not completed high school, according to the survey.

Adults under age 50 are more likely than older adults to have broadband at home, according to Pew Internet. Also, people in households earning at least $50,000 per year are more likely to have home broadband than those earning less, according to the survey.

As far as age is concerned, where broadband penetration really drops is with people 65 and older. Just 43 percent of them have broadband at home, according to Pew Internet.

By comparison, 80 percent of American adults 18 to 29 have home broadband access, according to the survey.

Adding smartphones to the 18-to-29-year-old category raises their broadband access percentage to 95 percent, according to Pew Internet.

Access the complete survey here.


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