The Pew Research Center released an interesting report about home Internet usage that revealed broadband usage plateaued in 2013 and, in fact, dropped 3% in 2015.
Later in the report, Pew states the growth in mobile-only audiences compensated for the drop in home broadband usage, so the overall number of people with Internet access hasn’t changed significantly.
While 100% home broadband penetration may never be attainable for a number of reasons, Pew’s research found cost is the major reason for most people, cited by 43% of non-broadband users. The high monthly subscription cost was cited by 33% of those users. The next most cited reason was a “smartphone does the job,” with 12%.
The report states, “Roughly two-thirds (69%) of Americans indicate that not having a home high-speed Internet connection would be a major disadvantage to finding a job, getting health information or accessing other key information—up from 56% who said this in 2010.”
In fact, in every category of Internet usage examples cited by Pew, non-broadband adopters viewed not having home broadband as a major disadvantage, including learning about or accessing government services (up 15% from 2010).
This research reiterates the importance of government digital properties being optimized for mobile-only audiences who don’t have access to desktop or home Internet. Stay tuned to DigitalGov to learn more about mobile-only audiences and how government agencies can serve them better!
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