Apart from the drop of broadband connection usage, the report also shows that there has been an increase among adult users who prefer to use their smartphone devices instead of a home Wi-Fi connection. In 2013, there was only 8% of users throughout the country who preferred this option. Now, the number has risen to 13%. This change was most noticed among African Americans, those who resided in rural areas, and individuals with a relatively low household income.
While people may be ditching the use of broadband connection for mobile, it does not simply mean that this solution is a better experience. According to the report, what this results to is the fact that this is the cheaper option for individuals.
However, there are "distinct challenges" experienced with smartphone dependence. There are some setbacks experienced by those who rely on accessing the internet through a smartphone. For one thing, smartphone service plans come with a limited data cap that usually poses a problem for smartphone users. Once the data cap has been reached, users will have to either suspend or cancel their service for financial problems. Additionally, there is the hindrance of not being able to write a cover letter or fill out a job application on a smartphone. Not to mention, streaming a video or accessing a data-heavy app can be a huge headache on your data limit. With this, 37% of individuals share that without broadband connection at home, they are faced with a limit in learning new things. This number has increased from 23% in 2010.
On the plus side, a smartphone is a great tool for staying in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. With the subject of data cap limits, this is already being addressed by a number of carriers. For example, T-Mobile has started to offer two options for its subscribers. With Binge On and Music Freedom features, users get to choose exempting either video or music streaming from their data limit. Both AT&T and Verizon have also been said to be working on "sponsored data," a feature that would allow their customers to use apps without worrying about it going over their monthly data allotment.
The Pew report also discovered that 15% of adults are considered TV cord cutters. Looking at the same reason with broadband, the main issue why these individuals have ditched pay TV is price. And since they now have access to content other than pay TV, they would rather cut costs and go for online content streaming from services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or even an over-the-air antenna. So why should they continue paying for pay TV when they could have just one bill to worry about?