February 25, 2007

One third of adult internet users have used a wireless internet connection

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 25 – Fully one-third (34%) of internet users have connected to the internet using a wireless network either at home, at work, or someplace else.

The Pew Internet Project December 2006 survey asked internet users about the ownership of devices with wireless capability and the different places where they may take advantage of wireless access. Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Some 27% of internet users have used a laptop, cell phone, or personal digital assistant to connect wirelessly from someplace other than home or work.
  • One-fifth (20%) of internet users now have wireless networks at home, double the number recorded in January 2005.
  • 13% of internet users have personal digital assistants with wireless capability.
  • “We know that ‘always on’ broadband connections really deepen people’s relationship to the internet; adding ‘on the go’ to the mix takes this a step further,” said John B. Horrigan, Associate Director for Research at the Pew Internet Project and principal author of the report. “The convenience of wireless access gives people the chance to fire off a quick email to someone while waiting in a doctor’s office or check the news headlines on the way to work.”

    The survey found that those who have logged onto the internet using a wireless connection are more deeply engaged with online activities. Such users are more likely than others to check email and get news online on the average day.

    These findings come from a December 2006 survey of 2,373 adults, aged 18 and older, of which 1,623 were internet users. Half the sample of internet users received the questions about wireless internet use, or 798 internet users. For findings based on the 798 internet users who received questions pertaining to wireless internet use, the margin of error is +/- 3.8 percentage points.

    The Pew Internet Project is a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that is an initiative of the Pew Research Center established to explore the social impact of the internet. The Project takes no positions on policy issues.