Smart phones are changing the way Americans access the Internet. Results from the U.S. Census’ Bureau’s Computer and Internet Use Supplement show that more Americans are using mobile Internet service instead of a wired broadband Internet connection.
In 2015, only 75% of Americans used wired technology for home high speed Internet. This is a sizable drop from 2013 when 82% of households used broadband. The drop in broadband use could be connected to the rise of mobile phone use for internet service. In 2015, 20% of households relied completely on mobile Internet Service, which is double the amount from in 2013.
The use of broadband or mobile Internet service varies across demographics. In 2015, 29% of online households with an income below $25,000 only used mobile Internet service and 15% of households with incomes of $100,000 or more made the switch to mobile only. The number of mobile only users doubled steadily for all income groups, demonstrating how mobile Internet use is completely taking over the market. If the amount of mobile only use doubled so much in only two years, then this trend will likely continue to increase as smartphone technology continues to develop.
In her testimony before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, ATR’s Federal Affairs Manager and Executive Director of Digital Liberty Katie McAuliffe, also explained the increase use of mobile only Internet service. McAuliffe stated that the reason many Internet users do not have broadband access at home is not because of the costs of the service, but because their smartphones provide all the Internet service they need.
As smartphone technology continues to advance and provide users with increasing services, more and more Americans may make the switch to using mobile data only for their Internet service needs.