It's easy for the majority of American adults ages 18 and older to take broadband
access for granted because most adults have it at home. Not all, however, as 3 out of 10 are still without broadband at their place of residence, according to a new study by Pew Research Center. Furthermore, 2 out of 10 American adults lack both a home broadband connection and a smartphone.
"The demographic factors most correlated with home broadband adoption continue to be educational attainment, age, and household income," Pew Research Center noted in its report. "Almost 9 in 10 college graduates have high-speed internet at home, compared with just 37 percent of adults who have not completed high school. Similarly, adults under age 50 are more likely than older adults to have broadband at home, and those living in households earning at least $50,000 per year are more likely to have home broadband than those at lower income levels."
Image Source: Flickr (Paul Sullivan)
For some, smartphones with 3G and/or 4G connections provide broadband-like access, offering the same utility to users as a dedicated home Internet connection. In fact, 56 percent of American adults own a smartphone of some kind, compared with 70 percent who have broadband at home, Pew Research Center says. However, only 10 percent have a smartphone but not a home broadband connection, so it's fair to say that most people feel the former isn't a sufficient replacement for the latter, whether it's because of costs (data caps), screen size, or any other reason.
There are efforts to provide broadband to all corners of the globe, not just in the U.S. Google is experimenting with balloons as part of its Project Loon
initiative, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently outlined a plan
to expand Internet access to everyone.