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Nearly half of the country (45%) believes reliable Wi-Fi is more important than reliable transportation, according to the new Comcast 2021 Wi-Fi Trends Report. The report also found a 12-fold increase in devices connected to Wi-Fi since 2018.

The report comes on the heels of the company’s announcement that its next-generation, xFi Advanced Gateway, introduced at the beginning of the year, is built on Wi-Fi 6E.

When connecting to Wi-Fi, smartphones are the most commonly connected device, according to the survey. Nearly 347 million smartphones connected to Wi-Fi in Xfinity households in 2021 accounting for nearly one-third of all devices that connected over the year, a 23-fold increase from 2018.

The increasingly popular reason for connectivity, according to the report, is wellness, as Americans became accustomed to new habits, including home exercise. More than 49 million smartwatches and fitness trackers connected to Wi-Fi in Xfinity households in 2021, 39 times more than in 2018.

Additionally, exercise equipment connected to Wi-Fi grew 93-fold, for a total of almost 841,000 devices. Comcast expects the wellness trend to continue with 20% of households planning to purchase fitness-related devices over the next year.

Among the report’s other findings:

  • Streaming growth holds steady: Streaming continued to see significant growth in Xfinity households in 2021, with 119 million devices connected to Wi-Fi during the year – 14 times the number in 2018.
  • Homes get smarter: Consumers are increasingly buying Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including connected cameras, doorbells, thermostats, etc. Xfinity households connected more than 2.5 million IoT devices in 2021, a 31-fold increase over 2018 levels.

“The ecosystem of connected devices in the home and the applications running on them has exploded over the last few years, driving a shift in [consumers’] perceptions on what truly is important to their connectivity experience,” said Sophie Ahmad, Xfinity Consumer Service, Comcast Cable chief marketing officer, in a prepared statement about the Comcast Wi-Fi report.

“Unbeatable Internet that provides the best connection, complete security, faster speeds and the best tech is now integral to how Americans work, exercise, parent, and entertain.”

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