Millions of Americans struggle to pay for fast internet service, or find that it’s not available where they live, a new Consumer Reports survey shows.
The nationally representative survey of 2,565 adults (PDF), conducted in June of this year, adds urgency to debates over broadband infrastructure and competition, according to consumer advocates.
Approximately 3 out of 4 Americans say they have broadband, or high-speed internet, service in their households. But 1 in 20 says they rely on slow DSL connections or a dial-up service, 15 percent use their cellphone plans to access the internet, and 3 percent of Americans say they have no internet access at all in their homes.
Nearly a third of those who lack broadband say it’s because it costs too much, while about a quarter of those who do have it say they find it difficult to afford.
“This survey reinforces what we already suspected: that getting online for millions of Americans is too costly, and in many cases the service is inadequate,” says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumer Reports. “As the pandemic continues, being able to connect to high-speed internet makes all the difference in the world, whether you are applying to a job or video chatting with family and friends.”