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U.S. Home Broadband and Wi-Fi Usage Forecast, 2020-2025: Measuring the Pandemic's Continued Impact

Home broadband usage in the U.S. has increased continuously over the last decade as U.S. consumers have expanded their use of the Internet and now engage in many high usage activities, such as video chatting, video conferencing and video streaming services on a variety of devices on their home Wi-Fi networks.

In 2020 and 2021 the industry saw an even greater increase in home broadband usage, as many students and workers in the U.S. were forced to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This market study estimates the amount of data used over home broadband connections in U.S. households from 2020 to 2025. It incorporates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on home broadband usage throughout the forecast, according to iGR’s assumptions about broadband consumers’ current behaviors and their behaviors when the U.S. returns to a new ‘normal.’

Additionally, the forecast divides the data usage into that provided by wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and it is also splits usage between video and non-video content. In addition to the five-year forecast, this market study discusses the home broadband usage behaviors of U.S. consumers, using results from iGR’s October 2020 survey of over 1,000 U.S. mobile consumers.


Key Questions Answered

  • What are the home broadband usage characteristics of U.S. consumers in iGR’s survey? Specifically, what type of Internet connection, Wi-Fi and devices do they use?
  • What activities do U.S. consumers engage in on their home broadband connection?
  • What are the video usage habits of U.S. consumers?
  • How have subscription rates to cable TV services and home Internet services changed over the last two years?
  • How many U.S. households have broadband Internet service? How is this adoption rate related to age, income and education level?
  • Which broadband technologies are being used and what connection speeds are being provided to U.S. households?
  • How much home broadband is used today by U.S. households, and how will this amount change over the five-year forecast period?
  • How has home broadband usage in U.S. households been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? How will the pandemic affect later years of the forecast?
  • How does usage compare between four quartiles of households that range from low-usage households to high-usage households?
  • How many different Wi-Fi-enabled devices are typically used in a household?
  • How much home broadband is driven by devices connected to a Wi-Fi network in U.S. households?
  • How much home broadband is driven by video applications?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Cable MSOs and other fixed broadband providers
  • Device OEMs
  • Content providers and distributors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
    • What This Means
  • Methodology
  • U.S. Consumer Home Broadband Usage and Devices
    • Home Internet Service
    • Home Wi-Fi Network
    • Devices Used in the Home
    • Online Activities at Home
    • Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Home Broadband Usage
  • U.S. Consumer Video Usage
    • Frequency
    • Locations
    • Internet Video Sources
  • The Trend to Disconnect TV Service
    • Mobile Consumers without TV Service
    • Mobile Consumers with TV Service
  • Trends Regarding Disconnection of Home Internet Service
  • U.S. Home Broadband Background Information
    • Number of Household Connections
    • Household Connections by Technology
    • Household Connections by Income
    • Household Connections by Education
    • Household Connections by Age
    • Household Connections by Speed
    • Trend Toward Higher Speeds
  • iGR Home Broadband Forecast Background Information
    • Data Amounts Associated with Online Activities
    • Quartiles
  • iGR Home Broadband Usage Forecast
    • Number of Household Devices
    • Number of Household Connections
    • Speed of Broadband Connections as a Determinant of Quartiles
    • Quartile Descriptions
    • Forecast Assumptions and Drivers
    • Additional Assumptions Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Total Home Broadband Usage Estimate
  • iGR Home Broadband Wi-Fi Usage Forecast
    • Drivers and Assumptions
    • Wi-Fi Usage Forecast
  • iGR Home Broadband Video Usage Forecast
    • Drivers and Assumptions
    • Video Usage Forecast
  • Survey Demographics
    • Demographic Profile of U.S. Consumer Respondents
  • Definitions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table A: Forecast of Average Household BW Usage, 2019-2025, Pre-Pandemic and Post-Pandemic
  • Table 1: Telecom Services at Home among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 2: Types of Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 3: Interest in 5G Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 4: Speed of Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 5: Most Important Internet Quality
  • Table 6: Number of Wi-Fi Access Points at Home
  • Table 7: Devices Used in the Home
  • Table 8: Internet TV Set-up
  • Table 9: Number of In-Home Devices
  • Table 10: Locations of Automatic Wi-Fi Connection
  • Table 11: Online Activities While at Home
  • Table 12: Frequency of Online Activities While at Home
  • Table 13: Communications Applications
  • Table 14: Frequency of Communications Applications Usage
  • Table 15: Wi-Fi Calling
  • Table 16: Number of Days Working from Home
  • Table 17: Typical Internet Service for Work at Home
  • Table 18: Frequency of Watching Video Content among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 19: Locations for Watching Video Content among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 20: Entertainment Programming Video Services Used among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 21: Sports Programming Video Services Used among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 22: Frequency of Internet Video Services Used among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 23: Percentage of Video Time on an Internet Video Service
  • Table 24: Disconnection of Previous TV Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 25: How Watch TV at Home without TV Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 26: Likelihood to Disconnect TV Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 27: Regarding U.S. Mobile Consumers with No Home Internet Service
  • Table 28: Disconnection of Previous Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 29: When Home Internet Service was Disconnected
  • Table 30: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Technology
  • Table 31: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Income Decile
  • Table 32: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Education Decile
  • Table 33: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Age Decile
  • Table 34: Distribution of U.S. Fixed Residential Connections by Downstream Speed
  • Table 35: Speed of Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Table 36: Devices per Household, 2020-2025
  • Table 37: Penetration of Broadband in U.S. Households
  • Table 38: Home Internet Speed Tiers in iGR’s Quartiles
  • Table 39: First Quartile
  • Table 40: Second Quartile
  • Table 41: Third Quartile
  • Table 42: Fourth Quartile
  • Table 43: Forecast of Household BW Usage by Quartile, 2020-2025
  • Table 44: Forecast of Average Household BW Usage, 2019-2025, Pre-Pandemic and Post-Pandemic
  • Table 45: Number of U.S. Household Connections per Quartile, 2020-2025
  • Table 46: Total U.S. HH Home Broadband Data Usage per Month by Quartile, 2020-2025 (PBs)
  • Table 47: Total U.S. HH Home Broadband Data Usage per Month by Quartile, 2020-2025 (Percentage)
  • Table 48: Wi-Fi as Percent of First Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Table 49: Wi-Fi as Percent of Second Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Table 50: Wi-Fi as Percent of Third Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Table 51: Wi-Fi as Percent of Fourth Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025 80
  • Table 52: Average Wi-Fi Usage as Percent of Average Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Table 53: Average Video Usage as Percent of Average Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Table 54: Respondent Age
  • Table 55: Respondent Gender
  • Table 56: Respondent Marital Status
  • Table 57: Respondent Ethnic Background
  • Table 58: Respondent Annual Household Income
  • Table 59: Respondent Level of Education
  • Table 60: Size of Household
  • Table 61: Age of Children in Household
  • Table 62: Respondent Region
  • Definitions Table

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: Forecast of Average Household BW Usage, 2019-2025, Pre-Pandemic and Post-Pandemic
  • Figure 1: Telecom Services at Home among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 2: Types of Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 3: Interest in 5G Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 4: Speed of Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile consumers
  • Figure 5: Most Important Internet Quality
  • Figure 6: Number of Wi-Fi Access Points at Home
  • Figure 7: Devices Used in the Home
  • Figure 8: Internet TV Set-up
  • Figure 9: Number of In-Home Devices
  • Figure 10: Locations of Automatic Wi-Fi Connection
  • Figure 11: Online Activities While at Home
  • Figure 12: Frequency of Online Activities While at Home
  • Figure 13: Communications Applications
  • Figure 14: Frequency of Communications Applications Usage
  • Figure 15: Wi-Fi Calling
  • Figure 16: Number of Days Working from Home
  • Figure 17: Typical Internet Service for Work at Home
  • Figure 18: Frequency of Watching Video Content among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 19: Locations for Watching Video Content among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 20: Entertainment Programming Video Services Used among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 21: Sports Programming Video Services Used among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 22: Frequency of Internet Video Services Used among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 23: Percentage of Video Time on an Internet Video Service
  • Figure 24: Disconnection of Previous TV Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 25: How Watch TV at Home without TV Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 26: Likelihood to Disconnect TV Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 27: Regarding U.S. Mobile Consumers with No Home Internet Service
  • Figure 28: Disconnection of Previous Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile Consumers
  • Figure 29: When Home Internet Service was Disconnected
  • Figure 30: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Technology
  • Figure 31: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Income Decile
  • Figure 32: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Education Decile
  • Figure 33: Distribution of Fixed U.S. Residential Connections by Age Decile
  • Figure 34: Distribution of U.S. Fixed Residential Connections by Downstream Speed
  • Figure 35: Speed of Home Internet Service among U.S. Mobile consumers
  • Figure 36: Distribution of U.S. Fixed Residential Connections by Speed (Percentage)
  • Figure 37: Median Downstream Speed for Fixed Residential Connections, 2014-2018
  • Figure 38: Devices per Household, 2020-2025
  • Figure 39: Penetration of Broadband in U.S. Households
  • Figure 40: Forecast of Household BW Usage by Quartile, 2020-2025
  • Figure 41: Forecast of Average Household BW Usage, 2019-2025, Pre-Pandemic and Post-Pandemic
  • Figure 42: Number of U.S. Household Connections per Quartile, 2020-2025
  • Figure 43: Total U.S. HH Home Broadband Data Usage per Month by Quartile, 2020-2025 (PBs)
  • Figure 44: Total U.S. HH Home Broadband Data Usage per Month by Quartile, 2020-2025 (Percentage)
  • Figure 45: Wi-Fi as Portion of First Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025, (GB/month/HH)
  • Figure 46: Wi-Fi as Portion of Second Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025, (GB/month/HH)
  • Figure 47: Wi-Fi as Portion of Third Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025, (GB/month/HH)
  • Figure 48: Wi-Fi as Portion of Fourth Quartile HH’s Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025, (GB/month/HH)
  • Figure 49: Average Wi-Fi Usage as Portion of Average Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Figure 50: Average Video Usage as Portion of Average Total Home Broadband Data Usage, 2020-2025
  • Figure 51: Respondent Age
  • Figure 52: Respondent Gender
  • Figure 53: Respondent Marital Status
  • Figure 54: Respondent Ethnic Background
  • Figure 55: Respondent Annual Household Income
  • Figure 56: Respondent Level of Education
  • Figure 57: Size of Household
  • Figure 58: Age of Children in Household
  • Figure 59: Respondent Region

For additional information on the U.S. Home Broadband & Wi-Fi Usage Forecast, 2020 – 2025 market study, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.