Have you been having internet problems lately? You may be shocked to learn that 22.5% of all American households — that’s 27.6 million households — 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 dial-up only, if you can believe it. That’s the technology we used in the 1990s, and it’s just as slow now.
While Utah (84.8%), Colorado (84.7%) and California (83.7%) have the highest percentage of affiliated households, southern states, including Mississippi (60.1%), Arkansas (64.5% ) and Alabama (68.1%), among the lowest rates.
Reviews.org limited itself 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 problems are a lack of infrastructure for large rural populations and the inability for many in those populations to afford modern internet plans. Because ISPs typically follow the money, they tend to ignore rural areas with poor populations, which leads large segments of Americans to miss out.
The risk groups also include older adults and students. Technology Services for Older Adults reports that two in five seniors do not have the Internet, while 9 million to 12 million students do not have the Internet, even with our recent increase in distance learning, according to EducationWeek.
The survey found that more than 8 million American households – 6.5% of the total – depend on satellite internet to connect to the internet. The need for better coverage in rural areas is probably why SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet service has become so popular so quickly.