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Research: 15m+ US homes mobile broadband only

March 3, 2021

Findings from research firm Parks Associates indicate that more than 12 million US households have cancelled their home broadband service and use only mobile broadband for their Internet needs.

The firm’s report, Adoption and Perception of Broadband, suggests there are more than 15 million households in the US that have only a mobile broadband service, which includes more than three million households that have never had a home Internet subscription.

“High cost is the most prominent issue driving households to cut the cord and go mobile only, although service-related issues, from slow speeds to poor customer experience, also contribute,” advises Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Service providers can deploy a number of strategies, including increasing speed and delivering a device that improves Wi-Fi coverage, in order to protect their customer base.”

The report finds that smart Wi-Fi or mesh networking products that would improve Wi-Fi coverage are powerful incentives to staunch churn, as 75 per cent of households likely to switch would stay with their current provider if offered these solutions. Currently 94 per cent of all US broadband households use Wi-Fi networking at home, and more than half report problems with their internet experience.

The user experience and the ability to deliver the necessary speeds are more critical now—as of September 2020, 41 per cent of US broadband households were engaged in remote work or remote schooling. The increase in at-home activity has renewed consumers’ focus on their broadband speeds.

“In September 2020, 9 per cent of US broadband households had upgraded their home’s broadband service in the previous 12 months, and the Covid-19 crisis was the main reason for 80 per cent of those upgrades,” notes Hanich. “Overall, the NPS scores for all service providers have increased from 2019 to 2020. Good performance during the Covid-19 crisis has improved customers’ opinion of their service providers, but there were dips throughout the year, indicating that providers need to continue to deliver on customer service and innovate in value-added offerings in order to grow and maintain their subscriber base.”

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