Broadband Usage Still Slowly Gaining in U.S.

Roughly 70 percent of American adults over the age of 18 have a high-speed broadband connection in their home, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

That’s a slight rise from April 2012, when 66 percent of adults had a broadband connection. The Pew Research Center found that broadband use had a definite correlation with education, age and household income—89 percent of those with a college degree also had broadband, for example, whereas only 37 percent of those with no high school diploma had high-speed Internet. Some 80 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 had broadband, a number that dove to 43 percent for those over the age of 65.

Broadband use seemed more evenly split between urban dwellers (70 percent) and those who lived in the suburbs (73 percent) and rural areas (62 percent).

The Pew Research Center also found that 56 percent of American adults owned a smartphone of some kind; roughly 46 percent had a smartphone and broadband, while 24 percent had a broadband connection but not a smartphone. Another 10 percent had a smartphone, but no home broadband connection, while the last 20 percent had neither broadband nor a smartphone.

“Including smartphones in our broadband definition actually exacerbates differences in broadband adoption rates between young and old,” read the Pew Research Center’s report. “Looking just at our standard definition of home broadband adoption, we find that 80 percent of young adults ages 18-29 have a high-speed broadband at home, compared with 43 percent of seniors ages 65 and older—a gap of 37 percentage points.”

Smartphones also introduce a degree of racial parity: “While blacks and Latinos are less likely to have access to home broadband than whites, their use of smartphones nearly eliminates that difference.”

Bottom line: broadband and smartphone adoption is slowly creeping up, but there’s quite a distance to go before America is effectively saturated with high-speed Internet.

 

Image: Pew Research Center

Related