Why it matters: Smartphone ownership and home broadband access among American adults have increased since 2019, although not at the explosive rates we’ve seen in the past. That’s to be expected though, considering that once a market is saturated, any sort of meaningful growth is hard to come by.
As Pew Research Center’s latest survey highlights, smartphone ownership now sits at 85 percent and broadband subscriptions at 77 percent. Both categories are up four percentage points from two years ago. Although the growth is modest, Pew said the increases are still statistically significant.
Pew found that 91 percent of those responding to the survey reported having at least one of the two technologies.
Even with connectivity more ubiquitous than ever, issues arise from time to time. A full 30 percent of adults told Pew that they often or sometimes experience problems connecting to the Internet at home. That’s compared to the 41 percent who said they rarely experience issues and 21 percent that never have connection troubles.
Perhaps more concerning is the nearly quarter of the population that still doesn’t have broadband at home. Among them, 45 percent cited the service as being cost prohibitive. Similarly, 37 percent of respondents said computers were too expensive for them to afford. Others said their smartphone meets all of their online needs, hence why they don’t have a traditional broadband connection.
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