Pew: High prices killing in-home broadband growth

A new Pew Research report has confirmed one of the challenges that has always been an obstacle for broadband adoption -- high prices. With broadband prices being out of the reach of a greater amount of consumers, overall growth has hit a plateau.

According to the research organization's new report, 67 percent of U.S. residents have purchased a home broadband connection from their local cable or traditional telco. This is down from 70 percent in 2013.

Pew said in its study that this decline is "a small but statistically significant difference which could represent a blip or might be a more prolonged reality," moving "home broadband adoption to where it was in 2012."

With prices of traditional wireline broadband services being too high, an increasing amount of consumers, particularly those that have lower incomes, have made the smartphone their primary method to connect to the Internet.

The research firm noted that smartphone adoption has reached parity with traditional home broadband adoption, with 68 percent of users having a smartphone. What's more, 13 percent of Americas are "smartphone-only," up from 8 percent in 2013.

Pew said that 33 percent of those surveyed that did not have broadband connection cited that the monthly cost of traditional wireline broadband service is why they did not have service at home. An additional 10 percent said the cost of purchasing a computer was the primary reason to not purchase a broadband service from a telco or the local cable operator.

Out of the group that don't have a broadband connection, Pew said that 36 percent once had a subscription, while 59 percent said they had never had a home broadband connection. In addition, only 25 percent of non-adopters are interested in subscribing to broadband service in the future, while 70 percent say they are not interested in doing so.

All of the top telcos continue to bleed bleed broadband subscribers.

According to a recent Leichtman Research Group report, AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), and other telcos lost a total of 144,000 broadband subscribers during the third quarter.

For more:
- Washington Post has this article
- see the Pew Research report

Related articles:
CWA says 10 Mbps broadband requirement should apply to Lifeline program
Pew: 10% of American adults use smartphone as their sole broadband connection

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