The percentage of U.S. households that subscribe to broadband continues to climb, according to new research from USTelecom — The Broadband Association. The association forecasts that by the end of the year, 84% of U.S. households – about 109 million – will subscribe to fixed broadband and that 79% of voice connections will be wireless.
Only 4% of voice connections will be wireline, according to the USTelecom forecast. The association also found that only 6% of U.S. households will use traditional telephone lines by the end of the year. Sixty-five percent will be wireless and 29% will use Internet-based technology, mostly from cable operators. Traditional switched telephone subscriptions are plummeting: They will have fallen from a peak of 186 million in 2000 to 24 million at the end of this year.
U.S. Households That Subscribe to Broadband
Key takeaways about U.S. households that subscribe to broadband from the report, titled “State of the Industry 2020”:
- The study found that as of mid-2018, 98.6% of Americans had access to fixed internet service at any speed. Even more – 99.8% — had access to a mobile network. Satellite is nearly ubiquitously available.
- The vast majority of housing units (91.4%) had access to two or more fixed internet service choices by the middle of 2018. Even more (92%) households had access to four or more LTE networks by that time.
- USTelecom found that two or more fixed broadband networks are available to 91% and two or more wired networks are available to 86% of Americans. In urban areas, 97% have a choice of two or more fixed broadband networks. Ninety-eight percent of Americans have access to three or more mobile networks.
- In 2012, 53% of Americans had access to two or more wired broadband networks with 10/1 Mbps or greater speeds. That portion was 72% in mid-2018. The portion who could choose from two or more wired broadband networks with 25/3 Mbps speeds in 2012 was 23%. In mid-2018 it was 59%.
The USTelecom based its research about U.S. households that subscribe to broadband on its own data, as well as information from the FCC and Telcodata CensusNBM.com.
Though the gap between urban and rural fixed broadband dropped between mid-2015 and mid-2018 at both the 10/1 Mbps and 25/3 Mbps levels, it still is 10 percentage points and 24 percentage points, respectively. Similar research from USTelecom last year estimated the gap at the 25/3 Mbps level to be 33 percentage points.
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.