Survey: Cost is main barrier to broadband internet usage

Published 9:44 am Friday, April 29, 2022

In the fifth installment of the 2022 Louisiana Survey, released Tuesday, the state’s residents said the most common barrier to having broadband internet is the cost of the service.

The survey, sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, was based on online and phone responses from 508 Louisiana residents.

The survey found that 75 percent of respondents already had broadband internet service in their homes. Another 6 percent said they subscribe to internet service, but it is a slower dial-up service.

About 20 percent of respondents stated that they do not have broadband or dial-up in their homes.

Providing greater access to high-speed internet services in rural and lower-income urban areas has been a priority of federal and state officials to support education and economic development, and the survey’s findings help delineate the extent of the problem.

Eighty-seven percent of the Louisiana residents surveyed said they had a smartphone.

Eighteen percent of respondents do not have high-speed internet access at home but do have a smartphone. Another 6 percent do not have access to broadband or a smartphone.

Sixty-four percent of respondents without internet service gave the monthly cost of a home broadband subscription as being too expensive as the reason for no home internet service.

The next most common explanation for not having home internet service was that smartphones allowed them access to the internet for all their needs.

Fifty-four percent of residents without broadband internet service in their homes would like to have the service, while 42 percent remain uninterested.

Forty-two percent of respondents without broadband service said that broadband internet was not available in their area.

This article was written by Rosel Flore with the LSU Manship School News Service.