A new poll from the Pew Research Center indicates the number of Americans using home broadband service has plateaued at 67%, sinking below 2013’s 70%.
“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,” according to Pew Research Center. “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.”
The smartphone’s proliferation, according to respondents, is due to its ability to let users do whatever they need to on the internet.
But those utilizing smartphones solely for internet access do face challenges.
Previous Pew findings indicate such users are faced with data-cap limits, which often accompany service plans. In specific relation to job seekers, 47% have reported trouble viewing job-related content because it won’t display properly on their smartphone. The same percentage reported problems reading the text in a job posting.
Additionally, 48% of smartphone-dependent Americans had to cancel or shut off their service for a period of time due to costs. Thirty percent said they frequently reach their data-cap limit.
However, it appears the pricing is more convenient for some over traditional broadband.
“Americans—both broadband users and those who do not have broadband—are increasingly likely to view home broadband as a key tool for accessing information that is important to their lives,” according to Pew. “But at the same time, the monthly cost of broadband service is now cited by a plurality of non-adopters as the most important reason for not having a home broadband subscription.”
Further indicative of changing patterns, the survey found that 15% of American adults are “cord cutters,” people who previously used cable or satellite TV but no longer do. Nine percent have never subscribed to either service. Cost is cited 71% of the time as the reason for cord cutters discontinuing or never acquiring TV service. And 64% say all the content they want to watch can be accessed via streaming or the internet.
Young adults, between the ages of 18 and 29, represent the largest population of “cord cutters,” with 19% no longer using either cable or satellite TV, and 16% having never paid for it.
The new Pew report was mostly based on a national telephone survey of 2,001 Americans between June 10 and July 12, 2015.