New Census Data Shows Broadband Adoption Rates Inching Up, Mobile Connectivity Growing in Importance

Bowling Green, Ky (September 24, 2020) – New data from the United States Census Bureau reveal higher broadband adoption rates in 2019 than in the prior year — an ongoing trend in the United States. And just last week, the Census Bureau released the first round of its data from the American Community Survey (ACS), which includes broadband adoption data.

Nationally, internet and fixed broadband adoption ticked up very slightly — about 1 percentage point each. In 2018, 85.3 percent of U.S. households had some sort of internet connection and 69.6 percent had a fixed broadband connection. By 2019, 86.6 percent of the U.S. reported they had a form of internet connection and 70.8 percent had a fixed broadband connection. 

Connected Nation is working with certain states that have reported higher levels than the national average. Those states include Texas, Michigan and Ohio. From 2018 to 2019, Texas increased 1.7 percent in the number of households who have a home internet connection and 2 percent in fixed broadband connections. Michigan also increased its numbers, with 1.8 percent more households with internet connection and 1.6 percent more with fixed broadband connections from the previous year. Lastly, Ohio increased in both categories by .08 percent.

“Michigan has experienced a steady increase in broadband adoption over the last several years. This is a sign that networks are being expanded across the state and residents and businesses are finding value in subscribing to broadband service,” said Connected Nation VP of Community Affairs, Executive Director of Connect Michigan, Eric Frederick. “While gains have been made, we still have much work to do to ensure that every Michigander has access to high-speed internet, can afford those connections, and know how to leverage technology to improve their quality of life.” 

But overall one of the biggest changes was that the census looked at smartphones as a type of computer. Nationally, 1 in 10 households rely on a smartphone as their only computing device. 

“The biggest highlight from the devices is the growth of mobile technology,” said Connected Nation Director of Research Development, Chris McGovern. “Tablets are up, desktops are down, and for the first time, the census has deemed smartphones important enough to be their own category. Americans want their internet on the go.” 

If you are interested in learning more about the 2019 ACS data set, you can click on the link HERE or head to www.census.gov

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