Report: Half US homes receive true broadband Internet
March 10, 2022
Despite the growing reliance on connected technology, the new Broadband America report from The NPD Group reveals that only 50 per cent of homes in the continental US have true broadband speed of 25Mbps download or higher.
In fact, 34 per cent of homes receive internet access at speeds of less than 5Mbps, including 15 per cent that do not have any Internet access. Vermont, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Mississippi are among the least connected states, while New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, and California are among the most connected. In Vermont only 24 per cent of homes receive broadband speeds, while in New Jersey 65 per cent of homes do.
“The so-called digital divide is a result of many factors including availability of suitable internet services and the affordability of services that are available in more rural parts of America,” explained Eddie Hold, president, NPD Connected Intelligence. “But there is potential for this situation to improve relatively quickly, as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which are providing key subsidies for deploying faster Internet services, as well as funding the Affordable Connectivity Program which provides subsidised Internet service to lower-income homes.”
According to NPD’s Rural America report, more rural and less connected areas of the US have far lower ownership levels of connected devices, as well as a higher level of price sensitivity for technology products ranging from TVs to streaming media players and beyond. In fact, while TV unit sales are roughly the same across rural and non-rural areas, the average price is 40 per cent lower. When looking at streaming media players, unit sales are nearly 60 per cent lower in rural areas.
“The lack of higher-speed Internet limits the opportunity for newer devices and services, as customers do not have the connectivity needed to generate a satisfactory experience,” noted Hold. “That has a ripple-on effect for consumer technology, limiting the need for larger, smarter TVs, streaming devices, or even tablets and newer PCs.”