Why Are Americans Ditching Broadband Internet?

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The percentage of American homes with broadband has fallen from an all-time high of 70 percent in 2013 to 67 percent this year. What is going on?

More Americans are not only cutting their cable cord but also abandoning their broadband Internet connection, a new analysis shows.

The percentage of American homes with broadband has fallen from an all-time high of 70 percent in 2013 to 67 percent this year, according to new findings from Pew Research Center surveys of about 2,000 adults.

In a report released this week, Pew describes this drop as “modest” but also “statistically significant,” noting that it “could represent a blip or might be a more prolonged reality.”

Cost is the main reason that people without broadband cite for not having this type of Internet connection.

Specifically, the most important reason they cite is:

  • Monthly subscription cost — cited by 33 percent
  • Smartphone does the job — 12 percent
  • Computer is too expensive — 10 percent
  • Options outside the home — 10 percent
  • Service not available or sufficient — 5 percent

An additional 16 percent cited some other reason for not having broadband at home.

The declining number of Americans with a home broadband connection is one of “three notable changes relating to digital access and digital divides” that the Pew report details.

The second change, which has occurred as the number of home broadband connections has decreased, is an increase in “smartphone-only” adults.

The number of Americans who own a smartphone they use to access the Internet and who do not have broadband service at home has increased from 8 percent in 2013 to 13 percent this year.

The third change is the growing number of so-called “cord-cutters” who have abandoned paid cable or satellite TV service.

Currently, 15 percent of adults are cord-cutters and 9 percent more have never had cable or satellite service. Young adults are most likely to be cord-cutters.

If you’re considering joining their ranks, be sure to check out our guide to “How to Choose the Right Cord-Cutting TV Service.”

Have you abandoned broadband service or cable or satellite TV? Let us know why below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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