The First in a 3-Part Series on Digital Connectivity During the Pandemic
A National Survey of Low and Lower-Middle Income Households
The COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness of the struggles that low-income households have in paying for basic needs. The Pew Research Center found that the pandemic-induced recession resulted in 46% of low-income households having trouble paying their bills compared with 19% of middle-income homes. The Center for Budget Policy & Priorities recently noted that 91% of families using the child tax credit, enacted to ease the pandemic’s impact on families, spent funds on food, rent or mortgage, or utilities. Paying for home internet service has been no exception. EveryoneOn’s new national survey of households with annual incomes of $50,000 or less shows that nearly one in five (18%) lost connectivity during the pandemic because of difficulty paying their internet bills. A larger number – 49% – live near the precipice of disconnection. These are the “subscription vulnerable” who find the internet very difficult to fit their monthly service fee into their budgets and live at or near the poverty line.