Nearly a Quarter of US Households Don’t Have Internet Access

Have you had internet problems lately? You might be shocked to hear that 22.5% of all US households—that’s 27.6 million homes—have no internet access at all. According to Reviews.org, that’s equal to the total number of households in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington combined.

Another 265,331 households still have only dial-up connectivity, if you can believe it. That’s the technology we used back in the 1990s, and it’s just as slow now.

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While Utah (84.8%), Colorado (84.7%), and California (83.7%) have the highest rate of connected households, Southern states including Mississippi (60.1%), Arkansas (64.5%), and Alabama (68.1%), number among the lowest rates.

Reviews.org narrowed down to Issaquena County, Mississippi (19.5%), Monroe County, Arkansas (34.7%), and Escambia County, Alabama (30.7%) as the least-connected counties in the least-connected states.

The main issues are a lack of infrastructure for large rural populations and the inability for many in those populations to afford modern internet plans. Since ISPs typically follow the money, they tend to ignore rural areas with poor populations, which leads to large swaths of Americans being forced to go without.

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The most-at-risk groups also include older adults and students. Older Adults Technology Services reports that two in five seniors don’t have internet access, while EducationWeek says 9 million to 12 million students don’t have internet, even with our recent increase in remote learning.

The study found that over 8 million US households—6.5% of the total—rely on satellite internet for connecting to the internet. The need for better coverage in rural areas is likely why SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has become so popular so quickly.

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