Nearly 90 percent of U.S. households that use a laptop and desktop computer subscribe to broadband Internet service, up from 65 percent five years ago, according to a new study Leichtman Research Group.
Higher income households are more likely to subscribe to broadband service at home than lower income households, LRG found. Households making more than $50,000 per year had a broadband subscription rate of 91 percent, compared to 68 percent of households earning between $30,000 and $50,000. Forty-seven percent of households with incomes below $30,000 were subscribers, the research group said.
The findings, part of LRG’s “Broadband Access & Services in the Home 2012” study, also revealed that 41 percent of households making less than $30,000 don’t have a computer, compared to 3 percent of households making more than $50,000.
"While higher-income households remain most likely to subscribe to a broadband service, computers in the home also increases with household income," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. "Disparities in computer ownership are the true roots of the broadband divides in the U.S."
The study found that just 2 percent of respondents said broadband Internet service is not available in their area, down from 6 percent in 2008. It also found that 0.6 percent of all households are interested in getting broadband, but cited cost as a reason for not currently subscribing to a broadband service.
Satisfaction with home broadband service was high. In all, 65 percent said they were very satisfied with their home service, while 3 percent were unsatisfied. Seventy-six percent of broadband subscribers didn’t know the speed of their service, the study found. However, 63 percent rated the speed of their Internet connection 8 to 10, and 6 percent rated it 1 to 3, the study found.
The study is based on a telephone survey of 1351 adults age 18 and older (including 103 cell phone calls) from throughout the continental United States. It was conducted in May and June 2012. The overall sample has a statistical margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.