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Faster Internet = Bigger Paycheck?

Henry Khederian

A lack of home internet access may contribute to lower household income, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

study authored by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey team was conducted to help identify reasons why internet access impacts income levels in U.S. households. 

How Much Americans Pay For Internet

Internet service p roviders (ISPs) offer varying speeds of internet access for consumers nationwide. The two most widely offered internet services are dial-up and broadband. 

The average cost of dial-up internet is $20-30 per month, according to Purdue University. The average cost of broadband internet is $50-60 per month.

You get what you pay for: dial-up internet subscriptions are notoriously slower than broadband internet speeds.

Choosing Internet In 2019

So, how should you select between dial-up and broadband internet access?

The main reason you would purchase dial-up internet access is if your internet use is limited to basic reading tasks. We’ve broken down the key features of dial-up and broadband internet below.

Purchasing dial-up internet is sufficient if the vast majority of your household internet usage includes:

  • Reading and sending email.
  • Reading news articles.
  • Viewing and posting on Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and LinkedIn. 

Purchasing broadband internet for your household allows for greater range of internet use including:

  • Downloading movies and TV shows.
  • Playing online games.
  • Using video chat tools, such as Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)'s Google Hangouts and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)'s Skype. 

Speed Comparison

Downloading a two-and-a-half hour movie with dial-up internet speed (at 56/kbps) takes 8 days and 21 hours to complete.

Downloading the same movie with boadband speed (at 60/mbps) takes 12 minutes.

Are you deciding which internet service provider is right for you? Here's a breakdown of The Best Cheap Internet Service Providers in the U.S.

What The Data Says

Benzinga has analyzed data from the American Community Survey to help identify income levels for American households by internet presence and speed. 

For households earning $75,000 or more, 95.4% susbscribe to in-home internet services. 

In comparison, 63% of households earning $10,000, or less subscribe to in-home internet services.

The following are United States household incomes in 2018, according to household presence and speed of internet:

Household Income Total Households At Income Level Total Households With Dial-Up Internet Subscription Total Households With A Broadband Internet Subscription Total Households Without An Internet Subscription
Less than $10,000 7,598,669 24,822  4,759,131 2,814,716
$10,000 to $19,999 10,508,546 44,550 6,525,178 3,938,818
$20,000 to $34,999 16,481,876 70,594 12,327,384 4,083,898
$35,000 to $49,999 15,029,642 54,115 12,534,571 2,440,956
$50,000 to $74,999 21,097,947 63,511 18,819,611 2,214,825
$75,000 or more 50,803,500 67,905 48,407,426 2,328,169

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