Skip to Content

3 in 10 U.S. Homes Don’t Have Broadband: Study

Broadband internet-fiber optic cablesBroadband internet-fiber optic cables
A fiber optic cable.Sebastian Willnow—picture alliance via Getty Images

Broadband Internet is something a lot of people take for granted, but a new study by NPD finds that nearly one out of every three people in the U.S. do not have a high speed connection in their home.

The study, published Thursday, found that 31% of the country's households have connection speeds of 25 Mbps or less. That works out to roughly 100 million people. The majority are in rural markets.

That's widening the digital divide, as more and more consumer products released today assume a high-speed connection will be available in the home. As a result, these households don't have access to things like streaming video or home automation devices as well as several modern educational tools. (NPD found that, even though income levels are lower in many rural markets, those that have broadband still show significant demand for connected devices.)

"In the most rural markets in America, less than 20% of households have a broadband connection,” said Eddie Hold, president of NPD Connected Intelligence.

North Dakota has the country's lowest broadband penetration, with just 20-29% of all homes have high-speed connections. South Dakota, Mississippi and Alabama are close behind, with penetration rates of 30-39%.

California, Washington, New York, New Jersey and Maryland all have broadband penetration rates of over 80%.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

Fortune’s 2019 Global 500: See the full list

—How automation is cutting into workers’ share of economic output

—How the maker of the world’s bestselling drug keeps prices sky-high

Want to buy a Spanish village? This real estate agent has 400 to sell

—One of Warren Buffet’s favorite metrics is flashing red. Corporate profits are due for a hit

Subscribe to Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter for the latest business news and analysis.