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Trends on Tuesday: Mobile-Only U.S. Audiences Grow While Broadband Usage Drops

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.

Network cable

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.”

Pew Research Center chart showing home broadband use has plateaued.

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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