The Pew Research Center recently released important new research on broadband access that demonstrate the importance of advancing low-cost, next-generation broadband for all residents — the mission of Next Century Cities.

The survey found a slight decline in broadband adoption in homes since 2013, with home adoption now sitting at 67%, but an increase in smartphone reliance. In total 80% of adults have either a smartphone or a home broadband subscription.

Some interesting findings from this recent survey include:

  • More Americans Are “Smartphone Only”: More Americans (now 13% of all adults) are turning exclusively to their cell phones for Internet service. But individuals who only access the Internet through their smartphones report significant challenges around accessing job opportunities and hitting data caps, and face an increased likelihood of canceling service due to “financial constraints.”  
  • Cost Cited as a Barrier to Internet Access: Those who don’t have broadband Internet access cite cost “in some form” as central reason for lacking it in their homes. The study found that: “Overall, 66% of non-adopters point toward either the monthly service fee or the cost of the computer as a barrier to adoption.”  Strong provider competition is a key principle for Next Century Cities partially because a vibrant, diverse marketplace, with transparency in offerings, pricings, and policies will spur innovation and lower prices, hopefully leading to more people being online.
  • Lacking Broadband Perceived as Disadvantage: More Americans now perceive broadband Internet access as an important tool for fully participating in many aspects of society, including learning about and accessing new career opportunities, accessing government and healthcare information, learning new things, and keeping up with the news. Roughly two-thirds of Americans said that not having a home high-speed internet connection would be a major disadvantage to the activities discussed above.

We salute Pew for undertaking this notable research, and encourage you to check out the Pew Research Center’s full polling report here.