Broadband adoption in the United States has jumped over the past year, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which claims 63% of adults in the country now enjoy a permanent Internet connection at home. That’s quite an improvement compared 55% a year earlier. But while increasing broadband penetration is to be expected, prices appear to have gone up as well.
Survey participants indicate that the average monthly bill for basic broadband services went from $32.80 to $37.10 in the past twelve months, while the average monthly bill for those with speedier broadband plans was about $44.60 in 2009, compared to $38.10 in 2008. Despite the recession and prices returning to 2004 levels, Pew found that people are twice as likely to cut cell phone or cable TV service before they get rid of broadband.
The study also reveals that for 32% of those who do not have broadband Internet access, cost is the main concern; 20% said they would not upgrade anyway; and 17% said that broadband is not available in their area. These latest figures help outline the challenges facing the Obama administration as it determines how to distribute $7 billion in economic stimulus money for expanding broadband access.