These days mobile internet is pretty great. Mobile data speeds are getting to the point where they’re substitutes for what you’ll get on your home internet connection. Toss in a couple of kids streaming Netflix and maybe you might find yourself better off disconnecting from WiFi and hitting the mobile data for your Facebook posting pleasure.
Many households are getting to the point where a phone/tablet combination represents the sum total of their home computing power. Phones and tablets are getting good enough to replace your home computer for things like surfing and gaming. Maybe you aren’t doing a whole lot of work on phones and tablets, but believe it or not, not everyone goes home from work and works more. At least, that’s what I’ve heard, because Lord knows I’ve never seen anything like that.
For the average user
So if people can get by with just a phone or tablet at home and now even own a computer, how important is a home internet connection any more? Put aside edge cases like people who work from home or cord cutters. Cord cutters are becoming more common, but not so much that they’ve moved out of the edge case category. But if you’re just a regular average Joe, using devices causally at home, maybe that home Internet connection is suddenly superfluous.
Of course, I can think of a couple of reasons why it’s not a waste of bandwidth. Most notably, data limits on mobile plans are still a major limiting factor. Even sharing 10 gigabytes between two people on a “family plan” won’t last long in a typical household if there is no non-mobile data available. Of course you could look to T-Mobile with it’s Binge On plan, but then you’re compromising elsewhere.
The reality is, for most people, home Internet is still needed because there simply aren’t any plans that provide an adequate amount of data for your average Internet user, especially with the rise of video streaming. Perhaps in the future, we’ll be able to cut all cords and live in a mobile data only world; we’re just not there yet.
Not just wanted but needed
Now, let’s go ahead and circle back to those aforementioned edge cases, of which I am one. Notably, I work from home on a laptop. For me, home Internet is a necessity, not a convenience. Last summer, when we tried to switch ISPs from AT&T to WOW cable, the latter couldn’t keep an internet connection at our house. It sporadically dropped to nothing and none of the four technicians that came to my house could do anything about it.
It was then that I realized, not only is home Internet important to me, it was about the only thing I cared about working. If the TV went out, I had Netflix or podcasts to entertain me. If the phone went out, I honestly probably would never notice, except to say “Why isn’t the phone ringing so I can ignore it?” Again, I am an edge case, I won’t deny that, but it’s still important to point out that my own experience tells me that not only is home internet an important thing, it’s the only thing. Without it, I would need to drastically alter much of my life.
Not now but for the future
Consider also one more emerging technology becoming more and more common today – the Internet of Things or IoT as it’s called. Smart/connected homes are becoming more common place – apps that open your garage door, and whatnot. Without a home Internet connection none of this would be possible. So, maybe you can afford to wait a few years before getting a connection, but it seems ore and more likely that a home Internet connection will become a must-have service. Almost like a utility (See what I did there?)
How important is your home Internet connection?
So what about you? Do you have Internet at home, and if so, how tied to it are you? If you had a choice about losing your Internet, house phone, or cable intermittently, which would you choose? Now, here’s a killer question, if you had to choose two to lose intermittently, which would you pick? Without a question Internet is the keeper for me, but I built this poll for you to sound off and elaborate in the comments.
Leader image source: alessandrogonella.com via iotpedia.com