A new report shows that broadband usage declines for the first time, as more and more Americans choose to connect to the internet by only using their mobile devices.
As more Americans are connected to the internet than ever before, the way they connect is changing rapidly. The number of people who choose to go online from their smartphones or tablets is also higher than ever, as it is the number of American adults owning a smartphone.
According to the new report if 70 percent of the population had a broadband connection available in their home two years ago, this year the number dropped by 3 percent, which means that only 67 percent of Americans have broadband.
The decrease is most certainly linked with the rise of mobile connection more than to other factors, such as increasing poverty, since the number of people reporting to own a smartphone with mobile connection but not a home broadband has risen from 8 to 13 percent.
However, the two possible factors are not mutually exclusive and they probably work together, especially since the changes are more pronounced among people living in rural areas and among black population, two categories which are at a higher risk of poverty.
Two years ago 60 percent of the rural population reported to own a home broadband while today only 55 percent report the same thing. The rate of those using only a mobile connection has risen from 9 percent to 15 percent.
The same shifts are visible among Black population. If in 2013 about 62 percent of Black people reported having a broadband connection at home, this year the rate dropped to 54 percent. At the same time, the rate of Blacks using only mobile connectivity increased from 10 percent to 19 percent.
Scientists have also looked at people with kids and they observed the same change. The rate of parents who reported that they only use their mobile devices to go online has increased by 7 percent, from 10 to 17 percent during the last two years.
The connection of dropping broadband with the income level seems to be positive. As people make less money, the more likely it is to abandon their broadband connection and only keep the mobile one. So if people earning from $20,000 to $75,000 per year were dropping their broadband at a consistent rate, those who made less than that were way more likely to give up their broadband connection.
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