Cord cutting has been something of a well-defined trend in cable TV for some time now, while wired home broadband has managed to hold on as a staple of connected life. But a new survey from ReportLinker suggests that could change in the near future as mobile broadband connections take over.
According to ReportLinker’s findings, though 59 percent of respondents use a regular residential broadband connection, nearly 40 percent of consumers now connect to the internet at home via mobile. And the results were even more skewed when broken down by age brackets.
Around 77 percent of respondents aged 55 to 64 used a residential broadband connection at home, but future generations are increasingly opting for mobile connections, including 55 percent of millennials and 60 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24. This foreshadows a continuation of a trend observed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which found the number of mobile-only households doubled from 10 percent in 2013 to 20 percent in 2015.
And while there were traditionally challenges to having mobile-only connection, what with data limits and all, unlimited could just be the nail in the coffin for residential broadband.
Of respondents who said they do not use a broadband connection at home, nearly a third (31 percent) said the reason is because they have unlimited data on their smartphone and don’t need a residential connection. Consumers also cited cost savings from having only one connection (15 percent), faster speeds on mobile versus residential broadband (15 percent), and better reliability on mobile connections (8 percent). On the flip side, 17 percent of customers who do have residential broadband said the reason they kept it was because they used more data at home than the limit on their smartphone allowed. And that last one is a barrier unlimited might erase.
There’s one other tidbit from the ReportLinker survey that’s interesting.
The top two operators cited as mobile providers were Verizon (29 percent) and AT&T (20 percent), which together accounted for nearly half of respondents. Until very recently both of these providers either didn’t offer unlimited at all or did to only a small portion of their customers. And while the survey was conducted at the end of February after both Verizon and AT&T rolled out new and expanded unlimited offerings, including mobile hotspot capabilities, it seems the impact of these changes – particularly on those who cited data limits as a reason for keeping home broadband – has yet to be fully felt.
ReportLinker’s full findings, which are based on a survey of 500 online respondents representative of the U.S. population between February 22 and 27th, can be found here.