The broadband divide begins at home, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).
The Broadband Access & Services in the Home 2012 report released last week by LRG found that nearly 90 percent of U.S. households that use a laptop or desktop computer at home currently subscribe to broadband Internet service. Five years ago, 65 percent of households with a computer subscribed to a broadband service.
LRG’s research also found that higher-income households are much more likely than lower income households to use computers at home, and to subscribe to residential broadband services.
According to the study, 91 percent of all households with annual incomes exceeding $50,000 subscribe to broadband service at home – compared to 68 percent of households with incomes between $30,000-$50,000 and 47 percent of households with incomes under $30,000. Forty-one percent of households with annual incomes under $30,000 do not have use of a computer at home, compared to 3 percent of households with incomes more than $50,000.
Other related findings include:
• 65 percent with broadband are very satisfied with their Internet service at home, while 3 percent are not satisfied
• While 76 percent with broadband don’t know the speed of their Internet connection, 63 percent of broadband subscribers rate the speed of their Internet connection between 8-10 and 6 percent rate it 1-3, on 10-point scale.
• 2 percent of all online households say broadband is not available in their area – compared to 6 percent in 2008
• Overall, 1.3 percent of all households are interested in getting broadband, but say it is not available in their area
• Overall, 0.6 percent of all households are interested in getting broadband, but cite cost as a reason for not currently subscribing to a broadband service
• Overall, 0.6 percent of households have an iPad, tablet computer, or video-capable eReader, but do not use a laptop or desktop at home.
“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 LRG. “Disparities in computer ownership are the true roots of the broadband divides in the U.S.”
These findings are based on a telephone survey of 1,351 households from throughout the United States. The overall sample has a statistical margin of error of plus/minus 2.7 percent.
This is LRG’s 10th annual study on this topic.