If you're surfing the web at home, the odds are increasing that you're doing it on your phone, a new study has found.
Americans are becoming less dependent on broadband Internet in their homes and are instead using mobile devices to access the Internet, the Washington Post reported. While low-income Americans have traditionally been the demographic that relies most heavily on their phones to access the Internet, more people across all income brackets are utilizing mobile as their go-to Internet source.
For instance, 15% of households that earn more than $100,000 annually use mobile devices to access the Internet at home—an increase from 6% who did in 2013. Similarly, 17% of households that make $75,000 to $100,000 each year depend on mobile Internet (compared to 8% in 2013), while 18% of households that make $50,000 to $75,000 use their mobile devices to get online (also compared to 8% in 2013).
Still, low-income households saw the biggest two-year percentage jump in mobile Internet usage. Currently, 29% of households that earn less than $25,000 a year exclusively use mobile Internet—up from 16% of households that did so in 2013. In total, about 20% of U.S. households are mobile-only, a sizable jump from 10% in 2013.
The drive toward mobile Internet usage might be a measured decision on the part of wealthier Americans, who find they are using mobile Internet more and decide that it's superfluous to pay for two ways of connecting. Getting rid of broadband service at home easily saves $50 to $70 per month.
In response, cable and wireless are increasingly trying to make money by prioritizing mobile over wired service. Telecom companies like Verizon are looking into more wireless options, and cable companies are attempting to compete for wireless customers by setting up cheap public WiFi hotspots. Google and Facebook are also exploring methods of beaming Internet wirelessly to devices on the ground.