Cordcutters, unite! A fifth of US households now get their Internet via mobile devices

Cordcutters, unite! A fifth of US households now get their Internet via mobile devices
We've been been hearing about the cordcutting trend for a while now, with that term encompassing both those who don't subscribe to the traditional cable TV package, and those who are receiving their bits and bytes directly over the ether.

Now, we actually have a survey to support the notion that cordcutting is a trend indeed, and an accelerating one at that. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) did its bi-annual survey of about 53,000 households about their state of connectivity, and released the results recently. 

It turns out that last year a fifth of households that are connected to the Internet, are getting it via their mobile devices, no cords attached. Of course, this is mostly due to the fact that it's cheaper to just have a shared data plan, than tack on cable and net subscriptions, so affluent households are twice less likely to only rely on wireless. Still, this share is up twofold from the 10% in 2013, and only seems poised to grow exponentially from here, given the ever increasing gigabytes of data that carriers and other wireless suppliers are offering for a set amount of money. 

source: NTIA via Quartz



1. Hoggington

Posts: 356; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

Not so sure I trust these numbers. 1 in 5 households get their internet access through their mobile data plan? I know quite a few people...and not a single one uses their mobile data plan as their only source of the internet. It's probably more realistic to think that 1 in 15-20 households have this situation.

2. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Well, I for one exclusively have all my telecom as cellular-based (a true 'cord-cutter'). However (like you), I don't know anyone else that is in the same situation. The above said, I have a feeling that most of this supposed 1/5 are in rural areas, where landline broadband is not being newly-built or maintained, and such residents are instead opting for LTE.

7. Acdc1a

Posts: 477; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

It's what we do.

3. macawmatt

Posts: 143; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

I just don't see this truly being a trend though for the masses. Wireless only isn't exactly an option if you stream video at home. I know I didn't just watch the entire series of Hell on Wheels through my VZW service.

8. Acdc1a

Posts: 477; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

I T-Mobile.

4. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

admittedly I use my phones more than my laptop now expect if I wanna play online games like DotA. oh the times...

5. Jimrod

Posts: 1607; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yeah, since all the unlimited data contracts were cancelled/vastly increased in price due to people actually using them I can't see this being the case generally. Everyone I know uses WiFi where at all possible.

6. bubblechaos

Posts: 114; Member since: May 04, 2015

This was a survey. If the question was "do you use your data plan at home"? Well yea sometimes. but mostly on my own wifi.... They will still count it as an individual who uses data on home.

9. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3190; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Using mobile hotspots for home consumption can very expensive if you look at the data plans. Tethering off a phone only provides limited functionality. Most printers are not made to connect to a mobile hotspot (I did with a Brother Laser MFC) so it can be a cluster.

10. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

That's not how it works. With a Router like my Asus RT-AC66U, I can connect my SmartPhone (with USB Tethering enabled) to the USB port, then it uses data from the phone like regular internet and other house hold appliances that only connect to the local area network, just connect to the router. That's how you replace cable with Cellular data...presuming you have good reception of course.

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