As wireless broadband gets better, and the cost of fixed-line broadband continues to skyrocket, many American consumers are ditching their fixed-line broadband lines and going wireless only. According to a new study conducted by the US Census Bureau for the Commerce Department, one in five households are now mobile only for data access, up from one in ten just two years earlier. Nearly one-third of households earning less than $25,000 a year exclusively use wireless for browsing the Internet, up from 16% of households in 2013.
Many of these users are lower-income users that aren’t consuming heavy amounts of data, and are using discounted prepaid wireless broadband options. But the data shows that higher-income users are starting to ditch their fixed-line broadband connections as well:
…Even people with higher incomes are ditching their wired Internet access at similar or even faster rates compared with people who don’t earn as much. In 2013, 8 percent of households making $50,000 to $75,000 a year were mobile-only. Fast-forward a couple of years, and that figure now stands at 18 percent. Seventeen percent of households making $75,000 to $100,000 are mobile-only now, compared with 8 percent two years ago. And 15 percent of households earning more than $100,000 are mobile-only, vs. 6 percent in 2013.
And while most users still prefer traditional broadband for speed, latency, and (assuming there’s no cap) price, as wireless evolves and 5G arrives a growing number of consumers are going to find it redundant to pay for multiple connections to the Internet. However, unless wireless prices fall and caps increase dramatically, it seems likely that many customers won’t be giving up their fixed-line connection anytime soon.
How about you? Would you cut your fixed-line connection to go wireless only?