WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Wired broadband has been a cause of dismay for many Americans due to its weak or slow connection.
- A mobile broadband for a device seems to be more acceptable, thanks to the country’s four leading carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile.
- However, more people need a real computer rather than a smaller screen to accommodate their online businesses.
Who wants to ditch their wired internet connection and get wireless services instead?
For people who don’t rely much on their desktops or laptops for their online life, it’s possible. Having your smartphone as your only device can get you through almost anything online.
Present mobile devices are more capable and have better apps than ever. Not to mention, faster internet connection and more mobile-compatible sites. No wonder an increasing number of Americans have been using their mobile phones as their only means of home internet access.
Additional good news is, mobile internet users can now enjoy “unlimited” data plans offered by the big four: AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint and Verizon. So, no need to worry about the data cap.
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration got a 2015 Census Bureau data revealing that 20% of American households depended solely on mobile broadband at home.
On a separate survey by the Pew Research Center, data gathered discovered a lower but increasing percentage of mobile-only internet access: 8% in 2013 and an increase of 12% in 2016.
Even with the most recent advances in mobile technology, most of us still find it hard to do a lot of tasks on a smaller screen. Tasks like a job application, submitting documents and lengthy email messages are difficult to do on a smartphone.
Getting a tablet for a wider screen can only add to your monthly fees when you put that on your plan.
The “unlimited” or unmetered plans let you share bandwidth with nearby personal computers using your mobile’s hotspot function. There’s a monthly cap however of 10 or 15 gigabytes.
Also, Verizon and T-Mobile now require an additional $10 per month to avoid having your internet access limited to 3G or worse speeds. Verizon puts you back to just 600 kilobits per second.
“They are rate-limited, they do have bandwidth caps. You see a lot of access to the internet happening at McDonalds. Imagine if you had to go to McDonalds to apply to a job,” said Bill Cromie. He is the director of emergent technology at Blue Ridge Labs.
Though wireless coverage improved in some locations, The Federal Communications Commission still receive numerous complaints regarding slow internet connection in some rural areas.
“I personally believe that there are significant challenges,” FCC chairman Ajit Pai said earlier this month. “There are many parts of this country that don’t have 4G LTE, that don’t have competition.”