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LeichtmanResearch Broadband Penetration 2012 2020 Feb2021A full 86% of US households had internet services at home by the end of last year, up from 82% a decade earlier. With virtually all (97%) of households with internet service at home having broadband services, recent data from Leichtman Research Group (LRG) puts the US household penetration of broadband services at 83%.

Broadband services in US households have been on a slow rise from 74% of households who had the services in their homes in 2010 to a peak, so far, in 2020 of 83%. Along the way, penetration appeared to have topped out at between 81% and 82% between 2015 and 2019. However, with the pandemic driving in-home data usage up in 2020, this has likely led to more households subscribing to broadband services to accommodate the shift to online services.

LRG reports that the more than 1,000 households surveyed self-reported spending an average of 5.3 hours per day online, an increase of 1.6 hours over 2019, when the mean daily time spent online was reported at 3.7 hours. This is somewhat less than the time spent with digital activities – 8 hours daily reported by eMarketer. That said, eMarketer’s data calculates multitasking as two separate activities whose time is added together.

The LRG data also shows that more than three-quarters (78%) of households have internet services both at home and on their mobile, up from 64% who had the same in 2015. About half (51%) of households without internet services at home access the internet through their smartphone.

And, as far as what households are using their internet services for, about two-thirds (68%) of adults with home internet use it to visit social media networks each day (up from 63% in 2019), while 6 in 10 (59%) watch video online on a daily basis (up from 50% in 2019.)

About the Data: Findings are based on a telephone survey of 1,076 US adults (18+) conducted in November – December 2020.

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